Thursday, January 14, 2010

What Do You Do?

Ivanoh Demers/AP

The sun emerged for the first time in days, but I have this cold spot within that it was unable to reach. What do you do when an earthquake or a tsunami or a war over there brings suffering on an incomprehensible scale, and a hundred or a thousand or a hundred thousand faces of immediate human misery stare blankly from a darkened world stage?

What do you do (emphasis on any word)?

Do you make a contribution? Do you say a prayer? Do you watch? Do you go? Do you slide into numbness before the videos of bodies in the streets and reports of children with shattered torsos crack your carefully crafted sense of detachment?

Do you cheer on anyone capable of lending a hand: the doctors, the nurses, the disaster coordinators, the Haitians working without sleep, the American firefighters who go anywhere anytime?

Do you publicly (or quietly) suggest that anyone who suffers that much must have committed some grave sin? Do you wish we would spend our charity at home?

Do you see yourself, your mother, your father, your child in the man/woman/child on the TV? Do you thank God it didn't happen to you?

What do you do?


Spartacus Jones said...

Maybe "all of the above."

I remember the first time I knew that someone needed help and there was no way I could help them.
I hate that feeling.
And I remember the moment I first realized that most of the suffering that happens could be prevented or quickly remedied if only a certain few people had slightly more compassion than greed.
Feelings I hate.
Feelings I want never to forget.


CoyoteFe said...

Yeah man, Spartacus. Contributing money (what everyone is asking for) doesn't put a dent in this feeling of helplessness. Add to that this feeling that 'someone' didn't and doesn't care enough. A lot of someones, but not everyone because there are some ones that made a commitment to go down there and out their finger in the dike. But not me. A big contributor to my cold spot.

Brie said...

Right on, Fe. I thought I would somehow feel better after contributing, but no, still awfully helpless.

CoyoteFe said...

I know exactly what you mean, Brie. Today feels like a bit of light has been cast, but who knows? Such a long road.

Janie said...

I feel sadness for the suffering, and, like you, helpless to do much more than send money. Those poor people, enveloped by the full force of nature's fury. (ridiculous for anyone to suggest it might be their "fault" somehow.) Even with help from anyone who can, it will be years before life returns to some semblance of normal there.

CoyoteFe said...

Oh Janie -
I pray that life there be transformed to much better than the normal that has been for so long there. How to help a country lift itself up?

miss sudha said...

Respect nature as it is the strongest force in the universe.

rebecca said...

I don't know Fe. I guess my initial feeling is numbness at the overwhelming factor of it all. Where do you begin? Seriously, where do you begin? It's beyond tragic and every single time something like this happens in another part of the world, another country, another state, to another person, the same words come to the forefront of my mind: "there but for the Grace of God go I.."

The best we can do in our own humble ways is help to the best of our abilities and donate and pray.

Miss you my friend...