Saturday, January 16, 2010

a restless night

The news and broadcast images from Haiti are so disturbing. I could hardly sleep. If anyone had thoughts that the hands were of no longer of any importance, that would have been shattered by the images of hands waving for human attention from under piles of debris or by bare hands attempting to rescue those trapped beneath collapsed buildings.

I read one report of a man who whose wife had died minutes after he had dug her from the rubble of their home. His son was still trapped. He said, "I don't have tools to do so many things."

Thomas Carlyle had said,
“Man is a tool-using animal. He can use tools, can devise tools; with these the granite mountains melt into dust before him; he kneads iron as if it were soft paste; seas are his smooth highway, winds and fire his unwearying steeds. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all!”
There have been many barehanded rescues in Haiti, proving that with hands alone, men have power. But it is heartbreaking to see what the Haitian people have had to endure. I pray that more powerful tools arrive soon.

It is heart warming to see the world's generosity in sending aid. It is disturbing to see the level of poverty that we have allowed to exist in our midst. We have had earthquakes of the same magnitude in the US with little effect. But when you take that level of force combined with substandard building practices and extreme urban congestion and poverty, you have the makings of disaster of epic proportions. What we witness now in Haiti is as much man-made as natural. In other words, with greater effort to alleviate the world's poverty, this could have been avoided. Please take time to help now with your donations, and then support long term efforts to rebuild Haiti.

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