Dear Pinkies, Please welcome Tre Thorsen, author of Thought by Thought, a blog about listening, heeding, nurturing, loving…being true to ourselves, to one another, to humanity. Today, in the wake of the massive earthquake in Haiti, Tre brings us some thoughts not only about how to help, but to maintain our mojo in the midst of something that seems so uncontrollable. Thank you, Tre - we needed this!
By now surely you’ve heard coverage of the devastating 7.0 earthquake that shook Haiti Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Like you, I was shocked and saddened and actually broke into tears a bit, as I adore the Caribbean - that nation's people in particular are some of the most peaceful and genuinely heartfelt I’ve ever met.
But shock for me soon births call to action, and the first thing I did was begin to pray…
I kept on praying like this for a long long while.
Throughout the night on into the dawn, the twitter streams for #Haiti flooded in with similar prayers and hopes. It’s so inspiring when you literally watch in real life the flowing support of thousands of people from around the globe…and realize just how many are saying prayers for Haiti’s people.
But this doesn’t resolve the pull of desperate helplessness that comes over us all too often when there’s a human tragedy like this. So I had to keep on praying for myself too because there’s no rationality in feeling guilty that somehow others received a blow and I didn’t. That’s not logical thinking and it’s also not productive in anyway.
So getting past the pulls of ego and back to how my thoughts can devote themselves to understanding how to help right now these people, again I defended the presence of calm and order, because the pull would try to convince anyone that there’s going to be nothing but chaos and mayhem for a while.
The thing about defending truths: we can’t always see how they’ll pan out in the immediate. Nor can we always see how they’ll bear fruit in the months to come. But just like there’s a deep need to steer a sailboat when the winds kick up rather than be tossed about, there’s a vital need to steer our thoughts. And that is what meditating and prayer does for me….steadies my thoughts so that I’m open and listening to next steps of what is mine to do.
And I thought a lot about how any quake..any stirring and sifting can help all of us wake UP to the needs around us, to deepen our compassion to help whomever and however and wherever. We encounter so many human hearts day in and day out…Let this stirring rouse our compassion to be present - mentally and emotionally present in any encounter with another. Whether a smile or a hello. Humanity is reaching out for love, and we can respond with love.
So, some practical next steps:
First, for soothing melodic sounds, twitter friend @ambienteer offers his recent compilations for download and requests you please contribute to one of his suggested organizations for aid for Haiti.
For latest tweet coverage, search twitter for #Haiti: Go to http://search.twitter.com and type in #Haiti — the hashtag symbol plus the word Haiti. Any tweet using that phrase will come up and you can see latest tweets and information that way.
You can also search twitter #RedCross, #Unicef, #CARE, #ONE campaign to name just a few of the many organizations already citing ways to help.
Pinkie Heather Shaw offered these suggestions in the Owning Pink community:
The American Jewish World Service has set up the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund to respond to the crisis by supporting a network of organizations it works with.
AmeriCares has pledged $5 million to Haitian quake relief, and is soliciting donations to a general emergency disaster relief fund to help it accomplish that.
CARE International is sending relief workers into the city of Port-au-Prince and needs funds to support its efforts. Suggested donations range from $50 to $1,000, but you can name your own amount if you prefer.
Catholic Relief Services has an office in Haiti, and luckily it's still standing even though one of its neighbors collapsed. The organization is accepting donations of any amount.
Direct Relief International has committed up to $1 million in aid through two on-the-ground partners, and is sending containers of medical material aid.
Oxfam has 200 people on the ground to deal with the crisis, and began its efforts by trying to get clean water to victims of the quake. One of its staffers recorded a podcast describing the situation. You can donate on the American or UK site, depending on where you're located.
Yele Haiti is sponsored by prominent Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean. You can donate through its website or via text message as described in the next segment.
Musician Wyclef Jean has used Twitter to rally web users to contribute to his grassroots Yele Haiti earthquake fund. He's urged his followers to text "Yele" to the number 501501. If you send the text, the organization will receive $5. The amount will be added to your next cell phone bill. Consider retweeting Wyclef's updates and get some of your Twitter followers to donate, too.
How 'bout your perspective on any of this? How you’re steadying your thoughts, keeping calm, thinking through ways that you can help - whether praying for the nation of Haiti or other ways ?
Striving to stay steady on shaky ground,
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