Color me as one of the surprised and cynical people who rolled their eyes and said “yeah, okay” when the call went out far and wide for the world to pitch and help Haiti, the small French-speaking island in the Caribbean made up of predominately (95%) of the African diaspora.
I had seen this kind of call before when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf region in the summer of 2005, only to see the presidential administration at the time wait days before the first line of help was sent out. New Orleans and other cities in the area have managed to get back on the right track, but it took some years to get done.
Fast Forward to last week. Haiti, a proud but impoverished nation has been rocked to its core by a 7.0-magnitude earthquake centered in the capital of Port-au-Prince. Haitians are desperately trying to dig loved ones from underneath a mass of concrete, brick and wood to either find them alive or dead. The images that are coming across the newswires are gruesome and macabre to say the least.
Yet, the United States and other countries have pitched in to the tune of 220 million dollars in aid, supplies and manpower to help save some lives and make others safer. I’m happy to say I was dead wrong.
These kind of situations restore, if only for a brief while, the faith that humans can put aside their various difference simply do what’s right and aid people who REALLY need it. Granted, my faith in humanity is no great prize to be won, but I can say I’ve been very proud of people I know and people I don’t know who have seriously stepped up to the plate and offered their time, their money and their assistance to help the people of Haiti.
Hope isn’t just a campaign slogan President Obama used masterfully during his run – it lives in the people who have helped Haiti, and hopefully the Haitians will use hope to rebuild their nation.