Last night NBC reported on progress made in Haiti. It’s very far from any measure of what we might expect. The rubble is still there over countless bodies and millions of people are still homeless, living under tarps and the like. Most of them are very hungry for not enough food is available. They carry as many water bottles as they are allowed to their ‘tents.’
But what stood out the most was the parentless children; there are so many. No system of registration has been created, and though attempts have been made to help parents and their children link up, most are alone. Some of these children have been taken for sex slaves. Incredibly, some Haitian children are happy for the earthquake for they had been sold by their parents as household slaves. They had roofs over their heads, but were forced to work in whatever ways required with no time off, ever. They were beaten and slept on the floor. Whenever the entire family was gone, they were locked out until the family returned. They received less food than family members. One Haitian man, rescued as a child from household slavery and brought to the U.S., was mentored here by a teacher and went on to become a teacher. He has returned to Haiti to help these children. When asked why he does this—he is one man and tens of thousands of children are parentless—his eyes filled with tears and his voice quavered as he tried to get out that he was only one rescued child. He hopes to do for as many children as possible what was done for him.
I fell asleep thinking of them and, for some reason, the victims of the Holocaust. Maybe it’s because NBC also showed film of members of congress pushing through thousands of health-care bill protesters, both pro and con. A black congresswoman was spit on and called a ‘nigger.’ A gay representative was also called hateful names. I know some Republican congressmen abhor this behavior, but I believe the rabid rhetoric of the right is stimulating a rebirth of hate. Extreme intolerance is rising, as reported by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and as we can see for ourselves on the news. We must speak out for diversity and tolerance—I remember reading in history books that after the Holocaust, people said, “Never again!”
I was wondering what our Creator thinks of us humans. We have a long history of conquering, capturing, murdering, stealing, torturing, raping . . . it goes on and on. But as Michael Brine pointed out to me in our March 20 post, judging others does nothing to solve our problems. In fact, it feeds the problem as it fans the flames of hate. Only love, acceptance and compassion in action heal. Maybe some seed of love from the Haitian teacher returned home will spread to us and we, too, will do what we can to make a difference.