Monday, January 18, 2010

What if...

A seven-year-old child gets medical attention after being pulled from the rubble of the Carib Market on Sunday.
Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

I had to tell my children today about Haiti. We don't watch the news in our house and, generally, they are uninformed about current events. BUT, they were fussing over toys and food and who would play what and when...typical squabbles amongst siblings who are 7, 5, and 2. But, what if this were my son in the picture above--five days buried in the rubble of the market? How would he fare? I was tired of the whining here and ashamed that they fuss over so much when so many have so little. I want them to be grateful, compassionate and caring wherever they are, with whatever they have. I don't want to raise them to feel entitled, because, really, the circumstances we are born into are beyond our control, there but for, and all that. So here is what I said and what I showed them:

This is a country called Haiti. They do not have a lot of money. They do not have a government that takes good care of its people. A lot of people that live there do not bother with following the rules and doing the right thing. When they built their buildings, they did not follow the rules to make strong buildings that could survive an earthquake. So, when they had an earthquake, almost everything was destroyed. It looks like this now--these are their shops and their homes:

Gregory Bull / AP

See all these people. How many are there? How many hands are reaching? They don't have any food and they are reaching out to get some. They have no homes anymore. They are sleeping in the streets. They are hungry and tired and scared.

Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

This is one of their stores where they used to buy their food. See what the earthquake did? Now they have nowhere to get food. And that boy (at the top of the post), he is seven years old, just like Bubba. He was in the market when it collapsed. He was just rescued today--five days later. Five days of waiting to be rescued, alone, scared, hungry and now he is injured and needs a doctor.

Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters

If you think about fussing again about your toys or crackers or play, please remember these pictures and don't. Look around. See how much you have and be grateful. If you continue fussing, I will get some boxes and pack up some of your things and your food and send it to these people who really need it and would be grateful to have it.

Posted by The Editor

Note from The Editor: Dispositions improved greatly after the talk.
All photos from, we don't own them, originals can be viewed here:

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