I was writing a few notes about how to be happier, more positive and more relaxed in our expectations, when I heard the news about the Haiti earthquake. The truth is that it was shocking for me. As always, the number that is affecting me less is the death toll. I pray for their souls and I hope they have the best possible transition to the other side, but that's all. What worries me are those who remain. Humans trapped in the rubble, wounded, or in a state of shock. People that have lost their lives as they knew it: their families, homes, jobs.... Children that are left alone. Victims that will not be able to be rescued on time. People affected by it will be counted in the hundreds of thousands, and they will have serious difficulties to recover, giving the circumstances. My question is? how will this affect the rest of us? I always say that humanity is a unit, like a body. Whatever happens to a cell affects in some degree the entire organism.
The first thing a body does is to move all necessary resources to the affected area. This is what we do too. I am happy to see that many countries have sent specialized personnel and materials. By proximity and by capacity, I would love that the American response were a bit faster, but I am glad it is already on it's way. Canada, Dominican Republic, Brazil, France and Spain, among others, are also moving and bringing help. Survivors, as I read, are starting to organize themselves, and the more relevant Aid groups, like Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam or Unicef were working in the area just after the earthquake, mainly because their people were already working in the country in some developmental projects.
As for the rest of us, I can think at least about three options for us. One is to ignore the subject because it has nothing to do with our life. After all, they are poor, black and they live far away. This option is the equivalent to not taking care of a wound in a toe, because it is not a vital area. In the end, it will most likely end gangrenous, so it is not a good idea. The second option is to get obsessed with all the terrible scenes of wounded and lonely children, people that have lost everything, even their hope, in a country that as for now, can't help their own survivors nor even bury their corpses. Shout to heaven and get hooked in the atrociousness of the situation is like getting depressed for having a wound or a disease. It is not helpful and it gets in the way of a prompt recovery.
The third option is to do something about it. Some would be able to go to the area and use their knowledge, experience and skills to help. Others, will collaborate with different organizations in the logistics of it, backing the rescue teams from home. Many will help financially, as far as they can. Aid groups are making a big effort and they need our support. Most of us can help, even if is in a small amount. Finally, there is something that ALL of us, without exception can do. We can help emotionally. Those that like to pray, please do so. The more, the better. Others will prefer to meditate. Many of us will visualize a good outcome. Whatever is the path that you choose, all the love that we feel for our brothers in Haiti will be a creative helpful energy. If we consider them strong and capable of overcome the catastrophe and rebuild better lives for themselves, it will be so. If we visualize all emotional and physical help arriving in a prompt and effective way, it will be so. This is a job for all of us. This option is the equivalent of looking after ourselves in the best possible way when we are injured or sick, and we all will benefit from it.
So, which one of the three options will you choose?
Links for helping:
Doctors Without Borders:
Please, share this information with all your contacts. You don't need to feel powerless about this situation. You can help. What is your choice?
Colchester, UK (Thanks to my lovely niece, Natalie, for the pic.)
Pamplona, Spain (Thanks to my friend Veronica for the pic.)
We don't have snow in Florida (for now). However, this morning our thermometer was showing four degrees C. Truth is, every now and again, I love it. It means that I change tank tops and flip flops for jumpers and shoes, and, even better, I have an excuse to drink hot chocolate, or to stay at home watching a movie under a cozy blanket. Little pleasures that were forgotten since living in this sunny American region.
My granddad was a farmer. He always said that snow makes the soil fertile, the roots stronger and everything else healthier by killing bugs and bacteria. My mother loves to open all the windows in the morning for half an hour, when it is freezing, to bring the clean and crispy air into every corner of the house, so it is only normal that when I see these pictures of the snow, or when I feel the cold of the mornings, I get excited. It feels like somehow, the cold will sweep away all the bugs from our lives, making it stronger and more fertile too. It feels that it is time to do as nature does: slow down, hibernate, develop in our cocoon. It is time for books, for family reunions, for hot tea, for board games, for baking cakes, and if you have a homeless shelter near by, it is also time to go and see if we can give a hand. It is cold for everybody, but it does not have the same meaning for all of us.