Epidemics Caused by Disasters
Photo Edited and Produced by Joshua A. Bickel
Let me start off by saying that my hopes and prayers are with those people who are currently suffering in Haiti after the earthquakes and aftershocks. It’s great that many countries and people around the world are doing things to support Haiti in their time of need. Donating food, water, shoes, and the things necessary for survival that we all take for granted everyday.
There’s one thing that bothers me, though. Why is it that something of such magnitude has/needs to occur for the world and people to unite and lend a helping hand? We saw this epidemic with 9/11. All of a sudden people were willing to donate to non profit organizations, seemed closer to one another, showed more patriotism, and had an open willingness to serve their country in whatever way possible. Flags were hanging in the windows of retail stores and hanging from people’s homes. People were trying to figure out any way to help out and whether or not their contributions were small or large–it didn’t matter.
Now, we take a look at what happened to Haiti. Sorry for the language, but people just didn’t give a rat’s ass about the country pre-earthquake disaster. BUT all of a sudden we see campaigns on the television, flyers in windows, and people standing on street corners ready to collect money to aid the country. Many businesses are setting up days and/or nights where a portion of their revenue will be donated to the cause. Come on now…We all know it’s just a marketing scheme by the businesses to get “good” publicity. Sure, many people and businesses are doing it out of the kindness of their heart, but why now all of a sudden? Haiti was already struggling. They needed our help and aid before the disaster, but people weren’t willing to donate their spare change, part ways with the shoes they’ve only worn once collecting dust in the closet, or make any kind of donation what-so-ever.
Why is it that natural disasters cause the epidemic of, I guess I’ll call it sympathy. So, the epidemic of sympathy or maybe even kindness. Why aren’t people this willing to help out others on normal occasions? It bothers me to see people act in ways they normally wouldn’t act just because something dramatic happened. The sympathy people have towards Haiti will only last a short amount of time. I say give it a month or two and things will be back to normal. We won’t see as many people willingly donating things to help out Haiti or any other third world country for that matter. Quite frankly it’s sad.
Little things can make a big difference. That phrase is on the cover of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It’s 100% true. I want to see people be more genuine and willing to help others out from the kindness of their heart. We’re living our lives and only worrying about ourselves, which I can understand, but the reward and satisfaction you will feel after helping someone else is priceless. Don’t just do it because their country was hit by a massive earthquake or because you feel like you have to because everybody else is doing it. Do it because you care. Do it because you would want someone to do the same for you if you were in that situation or was in need yourself. Lend a helping hand to a stranger or someone you’ve never talked to before. Give a smile to someone walking by. The little gestures you do could make someone’s day just that much better.
I always used to ask myself a question that I think you should ask yourself as well. The question is whether or not you are a sheep or Shepherd? One who follows or one who leads? My answer to that is to follow your heart and initial ‘gut’ feeling–to do what’s right, but lead a life worth living for with no regrets and that others will remember. Create your paths and make your own decisions. Don’t let others influence the way you make your decisions. Take advice and be open to opinions, but take initiative and follow your own visions and your heart.
Try new things. Heck, go abroad and volunteer in a third world country. Make it a goal to do at least one good deed everyday.
If anyone actually still read my site I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts on the subject!