I am affected so deeply by the tragedy in Haiti. I’ve never been to Haiti but I worked with students in 2003-2006 and most were from the country. They were lovely kids and so were their families. And all they wanted was a better life in the USA and peace for their families, living in Haiti.
I often wonder why it is that the most impoverished and struggling areas in the world deal with the worst natural disasters. I wonder this so often that I find myself absorbed in thought and comparing my life with others out there. And I know I am so very lucky.
Yesterday, I was on a train and we crashed. No one was injured but the impact was abrupt and we fell out of our seats. Everything was organized chaos. And the conductor had complete control of all of us. He was a Haitian American. And basically said, “We are blessed here. Remember that, please.”
I went home. I went home on my birthday. I was a little stunned at the events of the day. I was lucky. And I felt grateful and guilty and a lack of purpose. Why was I here and 10 percent of Haiti deceased? What if that mechanical failure happened even ten seconds earlier and the brakes were not fully depressed as they would not have been seconds prior? We’d have had a graver tragedy. We were all alive.
I have a little girl to worry for now. But I worry for the world. And maybe some day, she will sense the need to help others and worry for the world, too. But instead of feeling lament, maybe she will be a world leader or a hero. Unlike her mother who simply, found her way to home and noticed strong rooftops and animals being walked and cared for by owners.
May we keep our sense of humors and reach out to all people in our lives. And may we, as people, dream of bigger things and do all we can to grasp them because there are people who can no longer do that. And it is our duty to continue living and never forget our potential and potential of others.
ps. I posted a photo of daisies as an homage to the film, “Harold and Maude.” If there is another message in that film other than ‘love has no boundaries,’ it is the message that life is worth living to the fullest extent.
Maude: I should like to change into a sunflower most of all. They’re so tall and simple. What flower would you like to be?
Harold: I don’t know. One of these, maybe. (he points to a daisy)
Maude: Why do you say that?
Harold: Because they’re all alike.
Maude: Oooh, but they’re *not*. Look. See, some are smaller, some are fatter, some grow to the left, some to the right, some even have lost some petals. All *kinds* of observable differences. You see, Harold, I feel that much of the world’s sorrow comes from people who are *this*, (she points to a daisy)
yet allow themselves be treated as *that*. (she gestures to a big field of daisies)