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It’s breathtaking the way the world comes together to help when a crisis hits. The earthquake in Haiti was biblical in its destruction, although faith in a deity never helped Haiti in the past, and it’s not gonna provide food, water, and shelter now. It takes people to do that, and thus far the response has been overwhelming. Almost literally so, as the roads are clogged with supplies trying to get in…at time hampering the relief effort itself.

But it may be useful to stop for a moment and ask ourselves why we are so generous now, yet blithely allow poverty on a scale of Haiti’s to grind on unscathed in the first place. Isn’t this the very definition of putting the cart before the horse?

I have no answers surely. I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to self-centeredness and faux liberalism. As long as my internet access doesn’t get interrupted and I’ve got new books to read life is tolerable…if not even pleasant on occasion. I can text the Red Cross $10 and feel good about it.

But there are pangs now and then. We can see it all on TV if we wish. New Orleans. Now Haiti. Most of us couldn’t even conceive of the day-to-day trials of these people before mother nature decided to fuck with them some more. We look now, and it’s like something from the mind of a warped Hollywood screenwriter. This isn’t water in the basement. These are dead bodies on the road, being scooped up by dump trucks. In the year 2010.

I don’t know. I guess I just wish we could all come together before the storm next time.

In a bit…


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