The situation in Haiti is heart wrenching and made more so considering it is Thanksgiving here in Canada. I was ready to hop in my car bundled up against the chilly fall rain. I was on my way to pick up my fresh turkey, stop at the bakery for some pumpkin pie and then fill up with gas before grabbing a pumpkin spice latte.
Taking a few minutes to check the news I see images of the devastation in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew. Water is thigh deep. Hundreds are dead with the count rising. People are spending their day just trying to survive and finding food and shelter is precarious. Someone’s grandchild, son or daughter needs medical attention and there are no hospitals or supplies to help.
My planned post “If you are grateful for everything then what you have is enough” makes me wince in the face of their dire needs.
I realize that although the intent of those words is admirable, I myself need a good dose of reality. I am, and many around me are, way too comfortable with our privileges. We tend to think we actually are the creators of our amassed possessions, wealth, personal safety, health and good fortune. Somehow our smarts are the reason why we climb into a soft clean bed at night, in a warm house. But it is not.
Our life is a product of a crap shoot destined by a God or fate depending on what you believe. We could easily be sitting on that island, trying to catch our breath, and figure how to get dry and find some clean water to quench our thirst. A hot coffee only a dream.
I sit in awe of my fortunate situation. I am moved to buy a ticket, pack my suitcases with clothes, food and bottles of water and leave today. However, I might have enough to help one or two people for a day or two at most. The daunting logistics of getting water, medicine, equipment, food, and hard goods to a small island far away from a consistent source of supplies and infrastructure is overwhelming. It takes legions of money, planes, people, goods, and time.
So on this Thanksgiving, be grateful for what you have, hug those you love close, and give generously to the Canadian Red Cross who continue to be a trustworthy and reliable beacon of hope to those in dire situations around the world.