We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.
I just wanted to send out my thoughts and prayers for Haiti. Even over here in Budapest it's impossible to not know what's going on back in the Western Hemisphere. True, I'm not sure exactly what the coverage has been like here as I don't have a television nor do I get a newspaper. Either way, the internet has kept me up-to-date with what's happening in the whole ordeal.
It's hard for me to imagine that sort of disaster, that sort of pain. I mean, we Americans had 9-11. We had buildings collapsing and people lost and assumed dead. We had images of bloody faces plastered all over the media - newspapers, television channels, posters in coffee houses begging for our spare change to help. We have nightmares of people trapped under rubble with no way to claw our way out. We had that sort of pain, we can understand, we can sympathize.
But we also had someone to blame. We had someone that had caused all that pain and anguish to gush through our society, through our hearts. We could assign all of that to a bad guy, we could name the men who shattered our worlds. In some perverse way we even had an answer to the question why us?
Haiti doesn't have that. The closest they can come is Mother Earth as the one to blame, the one to cry out at and curse her name. But what good does that do? There is no answer to their questions of why us? The earth simply shook and showed us her awesome power and reminded us that we're just guests here. But that doesn't help heal any wounds, that doesn't help rebuild a community, and that doesn't help make this make any more sense.
What this disaster has shown us, as every disaster has in the past, is that we are a world community. Something like this happens and the world answers. Because we know, deep down, that despite the differences in color, religion, region, and economy, we're all made of the same stuff. And that is the stuff that makes us reach out when we see someone else with that same stuff suffer.
I know it's a trying time for most of us; the economy and the world in general is making our pockets lighter, job searches longer, and happiness something reserved for special occasions. But Haiti needs us to look past our own needs and help them. They need us to look past things we think we "need" (which are really just "wants" anyways) and help. Do you really need that Starbucks frappachino on a Friday afternoon? Do you really need to buy that extra t-shirt that will probably sit on the shelf in your closet this month?
Editing even $10 out of your weekly routine is a lot easier than you think.
What I'll leave you with is three options that I think are legitimate and good ways to help.
Charity:Water has links to three ways to help. Money from the suggested places go to directly help with health care to the Haitians. Live in NYC? The charity:water offices are collecting necessary goods, take a look.
Red Cross gives you the opportunity to select where your money is going and how its going to be used. They're a trusted organization and their mission is pure.
Pray for the people of Haiti. If nothing else raise them up in your hearts and your thoughts. Pray that they find some solace. Pray that they're able to rebound and rebuild. Pray that they are able to heal. Pray for the people who are headed into that disaster that they can find the people still lost and treat those who have already been found. Prayer is powerful.