Posted by: minnow | January 18, 2010

By All Means Give

Yes.  Give to help Haiti.  Go ahead, send your money.  Write your senators and congressmen, too–remind them that the US has a responsibility to head up the relief efforts.  And while you are at it, why not tell Pat Robertson, et als to shut their mouths.  After all they  are giving The Church a bad name.   Oh yeah, do not for get to mention the poor people of Haiti during your Sunday morning prayers.  And, be sure to feel really good about yourself because you are doing so much!  (NOTE: sarcasm is difficult to do on-line but sometimes it works).

Seriously, if you really want to try to wrap your head around what is so devastating about Haiti read these posts 1 2 3 by Julie Clawson, or this one, or this one.  We are right to send aid to Haiti–we the US government, we The Church, we individual people.  However, if Haiti is going to do more than survive we need to do more than send temporary aid to ease our collective conscience.  We need to become personally involved. 

I get that we can not all drop what we are doing and book a trip to Haiti in order to physically help.  BUT we can increase our awareness as to how our life styles, our self interests, our greed contributes to the poverty of the rest of the world.  A friend on Facebook just posted this link to the Global Rich List.  I plugged a number into the formula that was just slightly more that our household income last year and discovered we are among the top 3.17 percent of the wealthiest people in the world.  More than 96 percent are poorer than I am!  I do not know about you, but that rocks me.

By changing our life styles, by consuming less, and wasting less, and giving more we can impact the world in positive, healthful ways.  And I am not just talking about giving more money.  As important as that can be, giving our time and energy and focus is even more important.  We need to educate one another about the problems, not just for Haiti but for the rest of the world as well.  We need to expose the causes and concentrate our resources toward creating lasting solutions.  In this age of a global economy, individual people can become a positive impact on global issues. 

Still, if we focus all our attention beyond our borders we miss an opportunity to make a significantly greater impact.  And that impact is what I actually want to talk about.  Let’s face it, if we bothered to try we could probably find a link of connection to every single person on this planet so why not begin with those in our own communities.   While building relationships with individuals rather than organizations is certainly time-consuming, the return on our investment is personal.  The joy of seeing the eyes of Christ in the face of a new friend is an indescribable feeling.  By the way, so is the anguish of watching a friend suffer. 

I can not make the world care.  But I can care about the world by telling one person at a time that he matters, that she has something to contribute, that we can be friends, that together we can make a difference  right here and right now.  It cannot only be about “them” over there; it needs to be about us, all of us, right here.

I understand that Haiti needs help.  But if Haiti is really going to get help what the people of Haiti need is relationship, relationship for the long haul.  And, not relationship that makes them dependent on the kindness of others while the others rip them off, but relationship that treats them as equals.

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Responses

  1. thanks minnow – gonna share that global rich list on facebook

  2. Very nice blog Minnow. It is amazing to how well off we are and how little we realize it.

    I think your concept of, one at a time, is key. I hear many say they want to change the world and go on the grand adventure. But it always starts with putting one foot in front of the other.

  3. Hey–you two are really refreshing. I had quite the lively conversation on FB last night. I wish it had been here since these comments are a lot easier for me to track (I don’t have to keep refreshing the page to see them).
    Anyway, two of the people in the conversation actually leaned toward the whole Pat Robertson they-are-getting-the-wrath-of-a-God-they-have-disobeyed thing. It made me quite sad to see how religious one of my friends had become over the years.
    If it truly is that God is showing his wrath on Haiti, a nation that claims to be 80% Catholic and 20% protestant while at the same time recognizing voodoo (the joke is by 100%) then the United States had better get her act together and quickly because we are the #1 importers of children for the purposes of sex and the #1 exporters of pornography. We have one of the highest abortion rates and subsidize numerous abortions in other countries through our “aid”. We supply arms to 80% of the conflicts world wide and are responsible for most of the foreign drug trade. I could go on but I think my point is clear–the list of our “sins” is growing signifacantly higher and faster than our charity.
    Below is the translation I found of the prayer the revolutionary, Boukman Dutty, prayed which set off Pat Robertson’s original comment:
    “The god who created the sun which gives us light, who rouses the waves and rules the storm, though hidden in the clouds, he watches us. He sees all that the white man does. The god of the white man inspires him with crime, but our god calls upon us to do good works. Our god who is good to us orders us to revenge our wrongs. He will direct our arms and aid us. Throw away the symbol of the god of the whites who has so often caused us to weep, and listen to the voice of liberty, which speaks in the hearts of us all.”
    Tell me–did you see selling of souls to satan mentioned there? Or could it be that the God portrayed by those who had enslaved them was so completely misrepresented that He was rejected in exchange for a God of mercy and love? The prosparity in the United States is not the result of God’s approval any more than the devastation in Haiti is the result of His wrath. The same thing has caused both–western greed. And God’s judgment is yet to come. Personally, I am praying for mercy.

  4. Very interesting thoughts Minnow.

    “And God’s judgement is yet to come. Personally, I am praying for mercy”. I don’t think I’ve ever read you write anything like that before. God’s ‘wrath’ or God’s ‘mercy’ can be seen in every situation …don’t you think, depending on which you choose to see? I remember the talk of wrath on America during the 9/11 attacks…. Hurricane Katrina. And I don’t know where I stand on the whole thing.

    I didn’t see or follow any of the drama with Pat Robertson but did see this blog which I thought was good http://jmcq.blogspot.com/2010/01/on-haiti-pat-robertson-and-whats.html

  5. p.s.

    “Oh yeah, do not for get to mention the poor people of Haiti during your Sunday morning prayers. And, be sure to feel really good about yourself because you are doing so much!”

    this really strikes a chord with me — I am noticing that it is extremely ‘popular’ / cool/trendy right now to be somewhat culturally globally aware and many are using tragedy like this or stories from around the world to truly market their own chruch’s kindness and coolness here – because we know and care about ___ (some situation). but it just reminds me a lot of matthew 6 — don’t give/pray outloud where others can see you…..

    even good things can just become part of ‘the show’. and when that happens — they are just half-butted and not done the best ways… not followed through with….. just another event/promotion….

    yet I guess i should just be thankful that it’s cool so that people are getting helped…..


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