There was a terrible earthquake in Haiti a last week (7.0!). In a country already stricken with poverty unseen anywhere in the Western Hemisphere, now things are worse. I watched the news the night I learned of the catastrophe and then looked over at Emy playing…there was obviously a sharp and noticeable contrast.
I try to fathom what life is like in countries like Haiti and I cannot even come close to imagining their day to day life and the struggles that must exist. I try because part of me wants to feel their pain and to empathize. I feel so far away from their life and I want more than anything to be able to do something to make a difference. I can give money…many people have, but I want to do more. Physically, I want to give myself. I want to be in ground zero and help.
The reality is that have responsibilities here. I now have a daughter who needs me. She needs me to work and keep my job, so that she can go to a good school and learn and so that I can have health insurance to pay for her medical needs. I have people at work who count on me too. What’s a person to do when they are strapped down by responsibilities and yet they want to run off to help others who are less fortunate than so many of us are? I guess we never forget our goof fortune. I guess we never forget our good graces. We give what we can. We don’t turn away from the images we see on TV and ignore their plight. We remind those around us to give what they can as well.
I hope someday I have the opportunity to visit countries like Haiti and help. Not with a donation of money, but a donation of my time and labor. I also hope that my daughter grows up knowing and acknowledging every day that she is enormously fortunate to have the life she does, full of safety, good health, food, shelter, and all the love she could ever hope to have. Many people who come into this world come into it without any of these things, or maybe one or two of these things if they’re lucky. She came into a world and environment full of everything she needs to succeed and because of that it will be her duty, just as it is all of our duty, to help those who don’t have the opportunity and resources that we have.
My thoughts go out to the thousands of people who are without shelter, food, safety, and the necessary medical help that they need. I think about those who were fortunate enough to have their life spared, but find that they are alone because the rest of their family was not so fortunate. I cannot imagine, nor will I pretend to imagine, what they are going through at this very moment, as I sit here warm and safe in my home. What a luxury that is!
To support the relief efforts in Haiti, I highly recommend donating to:
I also hope that in the weeks and months to come that we don't forget about them. Their story and struggle does not stop once our TV's have moved on to other news stories. Yes, we have our own struggles here in the States, but nothing that could ever compare to Haiti...even the Haiti prior to this earthquake. Never stop counting your blessings and never stop helping others.