Monday, January 18, 2010

How quickly things can change

A week ago tomorrow the sun came up on Haiti as expected. People went about their business as they would on any other day in a Caribbean nation, albeit a nation plagued with more than their share of political strife and poverty. And then, without warning, deep beneath the earth, the Caribbean Plate shifted like a bear twitching in his sleep. In Canada, news of the quake started to appear on the evening news, but it wasn't until Wednesday morning that the total destructive force of this event started to sink in for the rest of the world. But for Haitians, the impact on their lives was immediate. Many were killed instantly, many others were trapped and/or injured, and most were bed-less, home-less, food-less, water-less and hope-less. Back home in Grafton, a fan gave out on the furnace that provides heat to the building where we house our reservations, marketing, human resource and finance departments. The temperature plumetted to a bone chilling 16 degrees. Oh horror of horrors! Some people were so shocked by this dramatic event that they were barely able to work. Emergency calls were placed to get electric heaters strategically placed, but this only made matters worse as the increased demand caused a circuit breaker to trip, plunging one printer into darkness! More screams and cries for help. I lit a fire in a fireplace that hasn't been used since this office was used as a residence, only to be subjected to complaints about the burning smell coming from the fireplace. GIVE ME A BREAK! As each day of the Haitian crisis goes on, I can't help but reflect on how blessed, and yet utterly spoiled and self absorbed western society has become. As we go on with our lives wringing our hands over the crisis in Haiti or the war in Afganistan, or the famine in Africa people just like us have no bed to sleep in, no clean drinking water, no idea where their next meal will come from, no lights to turn on at night, nothing simply because of where they were born. According to a Haitian relief organization recently featured by Ste. Anne's (The Starthrower Foundation), 12% of the world's population use 86% of the world's resources. Even the record setting financial aid that is being promised to Haiti works out to less than a toony per North American. Surely, in this age of wealth and technology if we all put our heads together, we could find a way to fix the world, regardless of the challenges thrown at us from time to time by "mother" nature. To give, click here.

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