Saturday, January 9, 2010

We measure our fortune by the Misery of others

Sometimes we feel that we are hard done by. That is the thing isn't it? We do right by people and people don't do right by us. It is a strange thing. It's like that old question, "why do bad things happen to good people?" I have been watching the hurt and disaster in Haiti, it brings out many thoughts and feelings. We should feel relieved to live in countries that have the infrastructure to meet a disaster (although Katrina is an example of where countries can fail). Pat Robinson said some real weird things the other day about Haiti. "Robertson—host of 700 Club—said that quake was God’s wrath for Haiti because they got themselves free from French colonial rule". This guy must feel some real hate to the Haitians to express those thoughts. Or if we are to give him the benefit of the doubt that he is just misinformed, misguided, misunderstood, or suffering from some mental impairment. In any case I feel bad for him. Why do we jump on the misfortunes of others. We either measure our good fortune or relish in the misery of others.

I don't know anyone in Haiti and that is a good thing. The horror doesn't hit home. Yet it should. These are People. People who love others like we do. People who laugh, cry, share stories, feel loneliness, feel happiness, have wonder, have dreams like we all do. People that have families, Moms, Dads, and kids. But they are far away and we don't know them. It becomes an oddity, a two-minute interest in the news story. While we go along our daily grind not really affected by the horror the people are living right now. Right now, someone is trapped under tons of concrete, unable to move, to breathe, to cry out. The life draining out of them. Still they hope that someone will come. Maybe their Dad will come and get them. Maybe the rescue crews. We will never know them, or feel their pain. We only use the news story as a measurement of our fortune.

In our own lives we measure our fortune and misfortune by our neighbours. We may not have the high paying job they have. We may not have the nice car. The bigger house. We look at the parents that are raising the child with a serious illness, or the parent that has lost a child to cancer, to an accident, to a crime. We look at the child that is in trouble with the law, with drugs and are thankful that it is not us. We continue to measure ourselves on the hurt others are going through.

I have no doubt that I will never go to Haiti, but as of today I will make an effort to think about the people.
Perhaps if I were a better person, I would pray for them. Maybe I could go the Redcross and make a donation.

Let's be thankful that we are not there.
Let's think about fortune and the misery they are living. Let's hope that aide can make it there in a timely fashion. Let's hope for miracles, big and small.

Happier days of Dad, his granddaughters.


  1. Wow! That is a great post. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this. My heart hurts for these people. I also do not personally know anyone that lives there...but I know people who do know people personally. Fortunately...they are alive and well...just do not have anyplace to live right now.

  2. Thank you for your response and kind words. Yes it is good that your friends are alive. It is the hope that after all the news people are gone that aide continues. It is a long haul for those people, both the victims and the people helping over there.


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