by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
There’s been a lot of rhetoric about Haiti. With nearly 200,000 dead according to current estimates, there’s a lot of proselytizing and finger pointing. Just ask Pat Robertson. Of course bad things happen to Haiti. They made a deal with the Devil.
Others are turning it into a political issue.
“How can we be sending aid to Haiti when people are starving in the streets of America,” I’ve heard it asked.
And of course, Haiti has become the most recent cause celebre of the jet set. An excuse to wear a ribbon and for actors to make flowery speeches that show their compassion at the booze-filled party that is the Golden Globe Awards.
What frustrates me is that people think this is about politics or religion. It isn’t, and it shouldn’t be made to be. It is about human beings experiencing almost unimaginable devastation.
I live in a community that was struck by a natural disaster two years ago. It was horrible. I saw the people deal with it first hand. I worked with those people for 10 to 12 hours a day, seven days a week for six weeks. I went home every night and cried at their pain. I had them in my home, where I gave them what they needed because I had everything and they lost everything. My children and husband worked by my side whenever they could. When I ventured out into the real world, it was hard to believe that there was a real world outside of the devastation and just a few miles away, life was going on as normal.
I saw politicians come into the help center and ignore the hurting people in order to make pretty speeches on television. They didn’t care about the hurting people. They cared about their political agendas and their images. I saw both democrats and republicans do this – just come in and act like they were campaigning – never taking a moment to meet these aching and wounded souls on a personal level. Never once did I see a politician look into the eyes of one of these souls and offer an ounce of the compassion that they spouted in their flowery speeches.
I saw churches do the same. They came in and didn’t help in any way that provided aid. They came in and preached and handed out pamphlets about turning to God during difficult times. Like the politicians, they got in the way of the work that we were trying to do on a person-to-person basis to help these people. We had to work around them. It wasn’t just one church. It was many.
There was one church – ONE – that came in droves and provided the person-to-person help that needed to be done. They worked their butts off beside me and the other volunteers. They didn’t preach or talk about God. They only lived their message by being compassionate, caring and hard working. It was the Latter Day Saints (LDS) church. I have tremendous respect for the members of that church. Thousands of them got on buses in Salt Lake City as soon as they heard about the floods and drove all night to get here. And then they helped without preaching. They offered compassion without invoking God’s name because it was the right thing to do.
Compassion and help came from individuals – not entities. Many people who could ill afford it sent money and supplies did. People who had lost everything came into the help center and volunteered their time to help others in their position. The outpouring of help and support was astounding – all from individuals who found caring and compassion inside of themselves because they realized people were hurting. That is the call that many answer in disaster – not the call of religion and not the call of politicians.
To make disaster into a political or religious agenda – I observed it first hand. It completely lacked humanity, humility, compassion and love.
Haiti is going to need help and compassion for a long time to come. I know that we are in times of economic difficulties. I know that people in the United States are also hurting. But, if you are so inclined to help (even if you can only spend a buck) – then there are a number of terrific organizations who are doing good work. Here are just a few:
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