Where to begin?
Like you, I've been overwhelmed by the sights and sounds from TV coverage of the 7.0 earthquake in Haiti. Because we're not there, we are "spared" one more very important sensation: smell. The sheer number of rotting corpses produces an odor that those of us sitting comfortably on our sofas cannot fathom.
Not since the Tsunami in southern Asia in 2004 have we seen the world come together so quickly for the sole purpose of saving lives. Individuals, corporations, foundations and governments donate money because it is the right thing to do. Rescue workers from around the world go into high gear and leave on the next available plane. The non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who already do God's work in Haiti, focus even more resources and personnel to help.
Natural disasters strike without regard to their victims. That Haitian everyday life was a struggle is of no concern to the tectonic plates that shifted under the island. Before the earthquake, the majority of Haitians lived on less than two dollars a day. Now that amount has been reduced to zero.
Why does it take a calamity for the world to coalesce to help our fellow human beings? Imagine using all these resources during non-emergencies to help educate and teach people how to become self-sustaining. Such aid could not stave off natural disasters, but the affected population would not start from behind the eight ball.
I don't have all the answers. Unfortunately, there is enough evil in the world to require the United States and other countries to spend obscene amounts of money on defense. We used to know the location of our enemies, where to attack, where to avoid. That knowledge now seems like a luxury. Although we may disagree on how to keep ourselves safe, there is general agreement that money must be spent for that purpose.
For now, we will continue to send money to one of many NGOs that are working night and day to save lives and ultimately rebuild Haiti. We will continue to be saddened by the daily images of extreme physical and emotional suffering. We will continue to join our neighbors around the world in a display of the best of humanity.
And we will continue to hope and pray for the day when all nations unite solely for our common good rather than our mutual destruction.