Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Do something if you can

After another hectic night at the office, tracking down the results of all the area high school basketball games and getting a five-page section out on deadline, I drove home listening to BBC Radio as I usually do.

Following the blather about the Massachusetts Senate race and what it means, there was a segment of interviews with Haiti earthquake survivors. One man said he lost five members of his family — all of them — when his house collapsed in the suburbs of the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. He seemed so casual when confirming to the interviewer that his whole family was gone, buried in the rubble, that it was surreal listening to him. But this man's bigger problem was that he had very little food and water in the eight days since the earthquake hit last Tuesday.

I can't imagine what I would be like if my wife and son were killed in a disaster and I survived. I can't imagine what it would be like if I had to endure that and then try to keep myself alive amid what surely must be the most hellish place on earth right now. Life as many Haitians knew it — which was never that great anyway considering the country has long been considered the poorest on the planet — just got immeasurably worse. Suddenly the $419 power bill I got in the mail today (thanks, Wilson Energy!) seemed trite considering I'm sitting here typing this in a warm house with a warm bed waiting.

To whatever god you pray or even if you don't have a god, say a prayer for these folks in Haiti. Or even better, actually do something to help answer their prayers. I just went to the Web site for Doctors Without Borders and made a small donation. I wish I could do more but I can do that.

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