Thursday, January 21, 2010

OPINION: Heart Attack In Haiti Absolutely Hurts Us All

Magdalena Potluck
By Margaret Wiltshire

When a 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti last week, it went right to the hearts of all Haiti and most of the world.
Death, destruction and collapse in this small, very poor democracy has greatly saddened and challenged humanity everywhere.
It has become a major challenge for the “have” countries to get into this isolated island country with timely help.
We can be proud that we Americans have so much we can give.
Proud that we do.
What moves us though is not pride, but compassion.
Experts in disaster relief are facing the challenges of even getting in, in time, to do the heroic things they know how to do. Organizations already in place to help this country, like the UN and Doctors Without Borders have taken great losses themselves.
They are there, they are on the way, organizing and reorganizing and risking life and limb to help in this overwhelming disaster.
I can’t help but feel in the next 25 to 50 years, we will need as many of these people as can be trained.
I believe this is a very “angry” planet. Some may believe it’s a very angry creator God.
It could be just the turn of time and nature. I am fully aware I may be “projecting” my own disappointments about what the world I’ve lived in is like.
My reality is that the earth has been good to me. My disappointments are with humankind. The paradox, much of my happiness has been because of the goodness of humans.
It is really hard as a human not to be ethnocentric. Thinking the world doesn’t revolve around oneself is a level most of us achieve.
Thinking the earth doesn’t just exist for we humans alone, is another challenge.
Only some of us seem to be able to handle this bit of maturation.
In between thinking the world is mine or the world is ours, there are a lot of other groups working on a hen-pecking order.
Within this hen-pecking system many like to think their group is at the top, or close to it.
Some feel Haiti is at or close to the bottom.
Haiti, discovered on December 5, 1492 by Christopher Columbus, became known as La Isla Espanola, the Spanish Island.
Later it was taken over by the French and in 1791 a revolt began Haiti’s difficult trek to independence. It is a quite a story and well worth looking into.
The news media covering Haiti however has been more than professional, it has been heroic. In history, reporters reported the news; they did not participate. They did not “make” the news.
I have been watching CNN and have only caught a little of other news groups. From what I have seen, they all have been heroic, well beyond competence. They have been involved.
Professionals like Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Anderson Cooper, Ivan Watson, Elizabeth Cohen and many more have not only reported the news fairly, honestly but have made a major difference in saving lives themselves.
They have pin-pointed areas of need and have rolled up their own sleeves to help. They are heroes in any sense of the word.
After many days without food, water and the quality of medical help that is needed, there have been reports of some violence. “Reports” more then actual witnessing.
Time will bring more looting, more violence.
How would you act after five or more days without food, water, housing, family?
Is it looting when in complete destruction people look about debris for what may help them survive?
When it comes to violence, Albuquerque and other mid-sized American cities should be so lucky.
The bigots of our world have crawled out of the mud to sling hate and misunderstanding. It is our job to silence the lies.
These “poorest” people of the world, these Haitians, have proven themselves to be among the best of humanity.
I have “witnessed” what a great people they are.
Let’s help, they ARE family.

Write Margaret Wilshire at Wilshire’s views do not necessarily reflect those of the Mountain Mail.

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