I’ve realized that most writers are narcissists, and I am no exception. Who but a narcissist would broadcast their opinions and feelings for the world to see (or even just for facebook to see) and assume that people will care? Yes, as much as I try to keep it in check, I’m pretty self-involved. So are you, probably. That being said, there is nothing like a 7.0 Earthquake to put things in perspective.
As cliché as it may sound, it’s difficult to worry about things like losing an iPod or getting a traffic ticket (both of which happened to me this weekend) when there are millions of people with no food, water, or shelter in Haiti at this very moment. The images that I’ve been watching on the news are so unreal, but at the same time so incredibly real that they immediately bring tears to my eyes. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be surrounded by bodies, especially if some of those were the bodies of family members and friends. I can’t imagine watching my home be destroyed and to have to wait for days for help to arrive.
The interesting thing about a disaster like this is that it has the capacity to bring out both the best and the worst in people. The worst: people who started fundraising scams in an attempt to steal from those wanting to donate to the relief effort, or painfully vapid actress Taylor Momsen’s comment about being too busy with her record and her TV show to think about Haiti. The best: the flood of donations and support from all over the world, nations and people putting aside their differences to help those in need, and the tremendous acts of bravery and strength that are taking place in Haiti as we speak.
Still, there are the cynics. When something like this happens and there is an outpouring of generosity and concern, some feel compelled to point out that “Haitians needed help before the Earthquake but nobody cared then”. This is for the most part true, but so what? I don’t understand how that mentality helps in any way at all. Yes, it would be nice if it didn’t take an earthquake or a hurricane or a tsunami to bring out the best in people, but it does. And it’s better late than never.
My personal opinion is that if you are able to help in any way at all, it is your responsibility as a compassionate human being to do so. And there are plenty of legit ways to help, so I will list a few in case someone is actually reading this:
Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/en/ or text 'HAITI' to 90999
Oxfam (water distribution): http://www.oxfam.org/
World Food Program-donate to my personal WFP fund raising page and help me reach my goal of $1000: www.mycampaign.kintera.org/jbhaiti
REMEMBER…what goes around comes around!