Sunday, January 17, 2010

More reactions on Haiti

I haven't made a new post in a few days, and to be honest, I haven't thought of a great many different things to write about. More often than not, my thoughts keep going back to the disaster in Haiti.
  • To the horrendous poverty that already existed there
  • How it didn't need to be that way
  • That the country was a disaster just waiting to happen
  • Of course, the disaster that DID happen

And our reactions to it...

How some of us are reacting with compassion, love, and support.

Most blog posts of people I read lately are consumed by issues in Haiti. And no, I don't believe it's just because social justice causes are "sexy." People really do care, people really are disturbed and deeply distressed by what happened. And people are helping.

People are giving money, organizing trips, volunteering.

But then, others of us aren't. 

We've heard the interviews. Some of the outrageous statements.

I've had conversations with people who really do believe that people in Haiti "got what they deserved." With people who were quite adamant that they were not going to help because--one of many reasons--our own country is "so messed up." That giving money to Haiti is a waste, and that it will indeed be wasted.

Sometimes I just get speechless.


This was in the Cross Point January reading for today, as it's the 17th:
"He who mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker; whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished."
-Proverbs 17:5
I feel that verses like that validate my own opinion, my own reaction. But that doesn't make me feel better. It doesn't help anything.

What kind of satisfaction should I take from verses like that? Should I take any?

Knowing that it doesn't help to change opinions, doesn't help to change attitudes. And as far as I see, it only brings the chance of making me feel more self-righteous. I feel it brings the chance of putting myself into the same position.

That maybe the poor can be poor in many different ways. That it could be those poor in faith, poor in love, poor in empathy in addition to just traditional poverty.

That perhaps other than an earthquake in Haiti, disasters could be personal. Maybe the belief that people in Haiti don't deserve our help is a disaster in itself. Maybe the fact that people could become so calloused or have their priorities twisted away from compassion is indeed a disaster.

That maybe the warning is also a warning to me.

Do you think it could be read like that?

That perhaps this serves as both validation and warning?

Do you find yourself in either camp? Both?