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Global Citizenship

            "A woman down in the valley began to scream. It was a wild and terrible sound Silence followed for as long as it takes to fill lungs with air before the woman's breath broke, other voices joined in" (Gourevitch, 1998: 33). .
             In Rwanda, there is a certain responsibility one has to their neighbors. When someone is in danger, they begin to whoop. This is the "conventional distress signal." When you hear it, you have a responsibility to whoop also, find whoever is in danger, and help save them from it. "If you ignored this crying, you would have questions to answer" (34). .
             Under common law in the United States, any person who went to help an individual who was in danger could be sued for any negligence or carelessness committed during the rescue attempt. A very common example is a person moving someone from a severe car wreck that may lead to an explosion. During the move, the victim becomes paralyzed. The victim then could sue his rescuer for paralyzing him, though his life may have been saved by this hasty move. Situations like this discouraged people from helping their neighbors in a time a trouble. Now in many states, Good Samaritan Legislation has been passed to safe guard the rescuer who is only trying to help. Under such statutes, even if the rescue attempt is "less than perfect, the helping person cannot be sued for additional injuries which he or she might cause" (Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council, 2002). .
             The passing of this legislation, along with Rwandan tradition, shows that as human beings we have an ethical obligation to those who we know are in danger. So, should we be responsible to help only those cries of help that we can hear? We live in a shrinking world where the affairs of one country easily effect many others. In this shrinking world, we are also more interconnected through mass media, the Internet, and travel. That being established, it is possible to hear the cries of everyone in danger if one only learns to listen for them.

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