I’ve been reading / watching / listening to so much about Haiti today.
There’s such a huge potential for even more disaster. It’s not that I don’t think that they can’t be helped, it’s that I don’t think there’ll be enough.
A very important word in this tragedy is “infrastructure.” Fundamentally it’s the ability to maintain supplies of food, utilities, support and medical services at levels that sufficiently allow population centers to maintain themselves. Haiti’s infrastructure was knocked out in 30 minutes. The most impoverished nation in the western hemisphere lost what little ability it had to help it’s people. To the world’s credit, it stepped up and is converging and assisting on a very massive, very impressive scale.
But the sucky part about paying attention to world issues is the perspective you get after a while. Watching videos of this now…the reporters are nothing compared to the glimpses I spot everywhere of the indications of the trapped dead. I saw a video of a hotel that collapsed supposedly with a few American unaccounted for. That really is the hard part…when I see the video and immediately stop listening to the reporter because the body counts are spray painted on the structures in the background.
Let me repeat…listening to a grown man crying because he was told his daughter was already rescued when she actually wasn’t…and seeing the body counts spray-painted on the hotel she was staying in. It’s heart wrenching. I asked a good friend tonight if she thought me crazy for wanting to drop everything and head out there to help. Needless to say, I’ve got some kickass friends 😉
Anyhow there is an internal dilemma here. Aside from fund-raising efforts, which tend to suck because the really large assistance organizations also tend to get the least bang for their buck and smaller ones that aren’t effectual enough to accommodate disasters on their own, there are supply drives and such..but the voice of my conscience isn’t satisfied with that at all.
It makes me wonder how much cooler the world would be if society distinguished and rewarded it’s members based only on their contributions in humanitarian endeavors. I know…thinking waaaay too high here. But seriously…it’s a lofty goal that even if improbably attained, would still reward consistently any who aspired to it.
Anyhow. Bottom line. I think Haiti may need far more help to survive intact, and I think it may actually require that we reorganize and rethink our strategy in saving all those people.
Here are links in case you want to help out.