Friday, January 15, 2010

The Day the Earth Shook Still


TwigsAndStemsNo2-1, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

By now, you've probably heard about the situation in Haiti. Earlier this week, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, killing tens of thousands of people, displacing many more, and creating an immediate need for substantial aid. There are people without food and water, in urgent need of medical care, and seeking shelter. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they struggle to overcome this terrible earthquake.

Sometimes, when I hear about these natural disasters, I can't help but ask, "why?" Why do these things happen? Why did so many people have to die? Why? It's very difficult to understand. It's very difficult to even grasp the situation there.

Of course, like many of you, I've started to think about how I can help. I want to contribute money, sure, that's no problem. No thought involved in that one. But, what about art? Is there an artistic way or a way I can help as a photographer? I have been thinking this over and haven't yet come up with a good answer. I'll still be thinking about this for a while, I'm sure, as the relief efforts come together. Things are starting to happen. There's going to be a telethon and probably some art shows to contribute to the cause.

The TV keeps showing us scenes. I want to look, I really do, but then I don't. I don't want to see the damage. I don't want to see the aftermath of such a terrible natural disaster. I really don't. Don't get me wrong, I want the news to play these films-it's one of the best ways to raise money, but I can't look. I just can't get my head around it.

I have a theory about this too. My theory is that, everybody, every single person on this planet, at one point or another in their lifetime, endures some form of natural disaster. Maybe you are a computer programmer and your lights go out for an extended period of time. Maybe you survive a tornado, a bad storm, a rocking wave from the ocean, or a nearby hurricane or maybe a flood. A food shortage or some kind of pandemic disease. It's not the disasters that define who we are, it's our reaction to them. At the end of the day, it's neighbor helping neighbor, people doing what we do best-coming together as a society to help. That's what's happening in Haiti right now. And that's what needs to happen.

Maybe the answer to the question "why?" is that it gives us the opportunity to rise above. I don't know about that, but I do know that I'm going to try to do my part, no matter how small and insignificant, to help.

Until next time...

2 comments:

mythopolis said...

Credit card companies make money off of these disasters. People of compassion charge a relief donation to their card and the card company gets dough by charging interest on it. Any charitable contribution via credit card to a valid relief effort should be free of such charges!

Carol said...

Yes, that's so true Mythopolis. Unfortunately, there are already "Haiti scammers" coming out to make money off of people looking to do good. How twisted is that?