Thursday, January 21, 2010


I usually try to avoid serious topics on this blog because I don't quite trust my brain after having 5 kids and I would hate to do injustice to anything of importance. That said, I was struck by something I read while keeping tabs on the Haiti situation. So many of the articles talk about the never ending need for aid, while others give reports on the massive outpouring of aid, money, volunteers, militia, and machinery. Some articles highlight individual stories of rescue and hope or despair and confusion. Still others take a long term view of the situation and debate the best way to restore Haiti's economy or discuss the political repercussions of foreign military aid in their country. Amid all of this, though, was a simple quote taken from a, now homeless, 29 year old-mother of two, Sophia Eltime,

"We need so much. Food, clothes, we need everything. I don't know whose responsibility it is, but they need to give us something soon."

I read this and instantly thought, "It isn't any one's responsibility." Nobody has to lift a finger for Haiti, really. The beauty of it all is that everybody wants to help. So many people, private organizations, online networks, foreign governments, professional volunteers, and religious groups are pooling their resources and doing everything they can to "put Humpty Dumpty together again." So it saddens me to read all the reports of those who are angry that aid isn't arriving fast enough, when part of the problem is that so much aid is arriving the airports can't handle the influx (especially because, technically, no one has to send any aid at all). I wonder, no, I sincerely hope that as Haiti heals it will be able to look back and be overwhelmed at the international outpouring of care and kindness it is currently receiving. It would break my heart if they were to look back and accuse, blame, or find fault in the giving.

Now, I understand that the people "complaining" are suffering and in distress and speaking in desperation. I also understand that some of these people are in areas that have yet to get the aid they so badly need. I don't fault them for their pleas. I just cringe at the form the pleas have taken. It is one thing to plea and ask for help, it is another thing to expect, even to demand, it.

I guess I could see a bright side of this by thinking that mankind has grown so much and come so far that kindness and charity are expected rather than hoped for.

What do you think?


Lucy van Pelt said...

I love how the world is responding with such generosity and I hope that I am glad that I am in a position to give. I know that it is a desperate time for them, so I understand the please, but I hope I never get in a position where I think I am owed such help.

A Mother Heart said...

Love your blog. I lurk every so often.
Love this post. I have ot admit I have not been following the situation much because I don't want my small children to see and hear all of that.
That quote you share is priceless. My first thought was 'whatever happened to self-reliance?'
And I don't mean that at all to belittle the incredible need there. But the attitude that it is someone else's responsibility to fix your situation...that really scares me because it seems so prevalent these days.
It is wonderful how many people are responding with so much generosity. I'm glad the positive is getting the press as well as the negative.

Poppy said...

I love you take on it...good food for thought

LollyChops said...

I agree with you completely.

Michal said...

yes. yes. as as family, we have been praying that this terrible situation will bring out the best (rather than the worst) in people everywhere, and especially the people in haiti.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with people EXPECTING to be helped? The haitians are suffering...some are rude, but so all people here in the US and worldwide. I deteste your psot..I believe that we all, when put in certain situations MUST DEMAND help. An earthquake or any other natural disaster can happen anyplace, anytime, anywhere. You sound like a bitter, ugly, bored, unemployed SAHM.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Dear Anonoymous,
I tried my best to make it clear that I understand that the Haitians are in distress and therefore calling for help. I was just trying to say that I'm so impressed with the outpouring of help going their way and that I hope when the Haitians look back they will be grateful for it. It is a wonderful thing to see the world, as a whole, evolving in such a way where help comes so quickly that there is not room enough to recieve it. No one is required to give this country anything, and yet they are. I just hope that gratitude will go hand in hand with the giving. I hope that I can take my feelings on this and apply them to my own life. Try better to recognize what I have been, and continue to be, given and express gratitude for it.

P.S. I deleted your second comment because I didn't want you to come off as being too nasty. I appreciate your differing opinion on the way I express myself.

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Oh, and as for the ending thoughts on your first comment, the only thing I am bitter about is potty training, you might think I'm ugly but I think I have pretty eyes, I wish to high heaven I will someday be able to experience boredom again, I am full employed and my husband pays me very well, and I am indeed lucky enough to be able to stay home to raise the children I bothered to create. What kind of person are you?

Chris and Amanda said...

I totally get what you are saying. Kudos to you. I do have two questions and another comment though: Is there any possible way to be bored with 5 kids? What is a SAHM? Lastly, I love how people get so big and brave and say horrible things using that "anonymous" sign in. Sounds like a bit of a coward to me.