Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Couldn't Stop the Tears

I was safe and it made me feel guilty.

I was watching the news at my boyfriend's parents place over the weekend when a report on Haiti started. Citynews was detailing the disaster. It wasn't anything new to me, I had seen the headlines, I knew what was going on, but a part of that broadcast brought me to tears. The report was talking about the search and rescue of people buried in the rubble. The death and decay that rescue teams were uncovering was horrendous to me, but I was glad that they were finding some people still alive. They showed a baby, found in a destroyed house, with only a couple scratches. Then they showed an 11 year-old girl whose leg had been crushed under a wall... they got her out and gave her water, but she died later in the hospital. At that point I heard someone say "oh god". And as the tears poured down my face I realized that those words had come from my own lips.

This is the first time I have ever been brought to tears over a news report. I'm usually a person of very steady character, but seeing that little girl being rescued gave me hope and then hearing that she didn't make it broke me down into sobs. My boyfriend held me close and told me not to be sad, but sadness was not the only emotion that was making me upset. I was safe in a small town in Ontario surrounded by people who love me. I was warm, well fed and had a roof over my head. I thought back to my childhood and could think of no major disasters. I sat there crying because I have lived such a charmed life and it made me feel so guilty. The people in Haiti have already had to endure so much and now they've been brought even lower. Before this news report I had already donated money to the Red Cross Haiti Relief, but I plan to donate even more at a charity dinner this weekend. I can't even imagine being in the position these people are in. I look around me at my neighbourhood, my family and my friends and I can't picture this city in rubble and my loved ones buried by disaster. If I don't even have the strength to imagine it, how can the people of Haiti find the strength to actually be living it?

If you haven't already, please donate what you can. A small amount can go a long way, and maybe the next news report I see won't be about an 11 year-old girl who didn't make it, but an 11 year-old girl who did because of international aid.

2 comments:

  1. I think the greatest tragedy is that people knew about this and even presented about it before it happened:

    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2010/01/massive-earthquake-hits-haiti.html

    People need to take global warming seriously, but also these geological conferences. It's also foolish that people think global warming is only about increasing temperatures (the name is deceiving, but events are occuring on both spectrums). In my opinion, proactive work would have been better. People have to scramble now to pick up the pieces. I think more seismic events are on the way. I wouldn't be shocked if many communities, including ours, could be affected in the near future.

    Not to sound all doomsday, but this sort of thing can happen anywhere. My trepidation in donating is that I (and I believe many others) are afraid to donate because they are not sure where the money will go. Many 3rd world countries have very corrupt governments and organizations. One wonders, for example, why there are still so many in Africa in need if people have been donating for all these years. Red Cross, however, I do put more trust in. It's very unfortunate that it hit such a poor community and I wish the best of luck and my deepest sympathy to the victims.

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  2. I agree with you Lisa. Global warming is a serious issue and people aren't thinking about it on a wider scope. They just think about the snow melting and the polar bears dying off, but not about the very earth shifting beneath us! All the money I've donated so far has been to the Red Cross. I like them the best cause they don't have religious affiliations like most charities do.

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