Monday, February 22, 2010


         In a rare show of human unity, the hearts and minds of millions around the world have recently been captured by what is normally an underrepresented and oft overlooked country. Few events can so well capture the interest of individuals representing such a wide variety of backgrounds, values, cultures, languages, and religions. Times like these, rare as they are, are a blessed reminder that, though we may differ in countless ways, there are some things which touch the hearts of nearly every member of mankind.
I am of course talking about...the olympics?
        Sadly no, this particular event lies slightly further back in the news archives. It has been 41 days since the earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti. As expected, time and more interesting events have caused little Haiti to slip quite a bit in ratings. But nevertheless there are many (more than I expected, honestly) who still bleed over the deplorable circumstances in Haiti.
        I've struggled myself with my wavering attention and, as I mentioned here, life must, necessarily, go on. It is important though, as we move forward, to remember that those in Haiti are moving on as well. The difference is that they must change their lives to do so. They have had to redefine what is normal. "Normal" now means living in a makeshift tent. "Hospital" may mean the tent down the street. "Privacy" is now defined by fabric rather than wood or cement, and "family" may refer to a smaller group of people.
        We humans tend to unite over sensational causes. The human race can be a formidable foe when united in this way. We gather together to stamp out cancer, to save the planet, and to register sex offenders. But generally when time cools our inflamed hearts, we settle back to what is normal. Impassioned responses can be powerful, but a great deal more powerful is taking up a cause at a resting heart rate.
        I would hate to be guilty of propagating emotionalism, so I urge you to take a moment and consider what normal is for you. Consider partnering with your Haitian neighbors and redefining your "normal." Maybe your new normal could include a bit more compassion for the afflicted in general and for Haiti in particular.

Compassion International is a child sponsorship organization which has captured my heart at a respectable 98.6 degrees. Unfortunately, due to understandable administrative issues, at this time they are unable to offer child sponsorship for Haitian children but they do have four Child Survivor Programs in Haiti that are accepting sponsors. For more information on the CSP visit Of course they are still gratefully accepting donations for the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund.

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