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Friday, January 15, 2010

REAL Help for Haiti















As the video rolls of the destruction in Haiti and the heartbreaking pictures flash across the screen, we,the public, sit glued to our screens, wondering what we can possibly do to help. GIVE MONEY TO THE RED CROSS would be my best advice. THEY ARE the standard when it comes to giving aid to people in the greatest need. Even $1 will help.
Though I find it hard to find fault with any relief effort headed that way in this desperate time, it's my job to point out how things CAN and SHOULD be done better by a nation with the abilities to do so. But I will try to offer some constructive criticism now, and not use this human tragedy to my advantage, as so many are doing. That's another blog - posting Monday.
As evidenced by the poor job our government did in aiding the victims of Hurricane Katrina, I can see why some would find it easy to decry efforts outside our own borders. But two wrongs have never made right and now is NOT the time for self-serving naysayers to get free press.
Now is the time for us all to find the compassion in our hearts and do what we can to help that effort.
That Haiti has been targeted by disaster before has nothing to do with vengeance. It's purely a matter of location, economy and bad government. That anyone is trying to pass judgement and seek personal gain as a condition of aid is deplorable. Getting the suffering Haitians help should be the number one priority now for the GLOBAL community and not just the U.S.A.. It really makes me wonder about someone's character when they try to profit from tragedy. When they choose to ignore it, there's no wonder involved.
I believe that we will learn much in our humanitarian efforts at this moment in Haiti. Unfortunately, I also believe it will be at the expense of the Haitians. It is clear, especially with the destruction of the majority of government services in Port-Au-Prince, that no agency participating in this relief is prepared to give what is needed in a timely manner. My prayer is that they save as many as humanly possible, get much needed medical aid to the wounded and suffering and feed the starving children and families.
Now for the tongue lashing. Our foreign aid systems, as well as our national relief services NEED MAJOR OVERHAULS. HUMANITARIAN AID needs to get an updated and relevant definition. When people are hurting and need our help, it SHOULD NOT be reliant on any of the following:
1. payment or reciprocation
2. government or lack thereof
3. religious, cultural or national beliefs
4. location
5. politics
6. economy

I had to ask my son-in-law this question during our conversation on Haiti the other day: 'Doesn't anybody actually READ that book they keep quoting?'. Or are they reading a different version of the Bible now? I know I'm a lapsed Catholic, but it couldn't have changed that much!
Plagues and disasters, war and suffering ARE NOT the Big G's wrath! It is his test to see where our hearts reside. Let's all pitch in now to help Haiti to show our hearts DO live in Big G's house. The Haitian's need to feel our compassion and humanity at this dreadful time. Before a resilient people totally give up and turn against each other.

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