January 21, 2010

Why Help Haiti?

Believe it or not, there are people who are asking this question right now and seriously wondering why we should get involved in helping the people and country of Haiti, in light of this most recent natural disaster.

With the likes of Pat Robertson making public statements that this tragedy is somehow God's will or punishment, it amazes me that there are people who truly believe this.

The fact of the matter is, these are people we're talking about here; flesh and blood beings that are in desperate need of help. Imagine losing any and all access to health care (WHILE you're injured or dying). Imagine losing any and all access to food, water, basic sanitation.... Imagine losing your shelter, your loved ones, and anything and everything else you hold dear.

The fact of the matter is, natural disasters happen. They aren't the fault of Gods or devils. They aren't the fault of any particular religion or culture practiced by any particular group of people. They happen anywhere there's a fault line... an ocean... earth... And, they affect anyone and everyone, whether or not they believe in any particular deity, whether or not they are "good" or "bad".

Well, now a natural disaster has occurred in Haiti. This has affected a group of people who were already poor, facing hardships that we Americans may not even be able to imagine.

Honestly, maybe we should have been helping the people and country of Haiti long before this tragedy struck. And, perhaps, if this devastation can bring us to a place where we're willing to do anything and everything we can NOW to help these people... maybe, just maybe, there's a silver lining to this cloud.

So... why help Haiti? Because it's the right thing to do. Because these are people... children... pregnant women... scared beings that need the very basic things that we take for granted each and every day. Because we, all of us, have the power to help if even in some small way.

If you have the ability, you can go out there yourself and volunteer your time to those in need. That may not be feasible for most people, myself included. But, that's certainly not the only way to lend a helping hand.

How about donating the money you were going to spend on the latest video game or DVD to UNICEF or the American Red Cross? I'd bet most of us could do that.

Even just writing a blog, or a tweet, to remind people who are maybe forgetting or pushing it out of their mind - Haiti still needs any help anyone can provide, and they will for quite some time.

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