So, a couple of questions to think about…..
If the Haiti peacekeeping mission made 800,000 people sick and killed almost 10,000, would you consider that a success?
The UN official says that the goal is to have public electricity 24 hours a day within 24 months. My personal experience and what my friends in Haiti have told me, that is probably a very long ways from being accomplished. I would have to say that anecdotally, consistent public electricity doesn’t happen more than 20% of the time.
The US government is currently pushing towards revoking the TPS status of over 55,000 Haitians who are in the United States because they say that Haiti has recovered from the earthquake.
If you read the headlines, this might make it sound like that is true.
If you read between the lines and compare what the officials say to the facts, it raises questions about whether that’s really true.
So is there anyone out there who doesn’t think that there is a LOT of stuff going on?
Wars, rumors of wars, corruption, immigration scandals, terrorism, questions about what is right, what is RIGHT and what is LEFT. Distrust of those who are in positions of authority. Evidence or the perception of evidence of all sorts of behavior that runs contrary to the way we think it should be going.
Accusations and innuendoes. Poverty and misuse of aid.
It isn’t right.
So what do we do?
The first think we need to do is think about it and talk about it.
And write about it.
I’m not going to get into a lot of the details to protect the other people involved, but I want to tell you a story about a person I met on Tuesday. I met her Tuesday afternoon and we had approximately 15 minutes for “idle conversation.” I introduced myself and apologized because I said I’m good at pronouncing Dutch names (Tom, Paul, James, John, etc……) but I wasn’t sure how to pronounce hers. She smiled and said, “People just call me Susie……”
While she was obviously not what the Census Bureau might consider to be Caucasian, she was also not African or African American. I said to her, “I know you are from Chicago (she said that previously) but I’m curious as to where your family is from.” She proceeded to tell me that her parents immigrated to the United States 40 years ago from India and got married shortly after arriving in the United States and have lived in California ever since.
We chatted a bit about California, where they live in California and where I have relatives and friends in California. As our time for “chatting” was wrapping up, she said to me, “Tom, thank you. I travel a lot for work and in these current times, more often than not, these type of conversations between strangers have not gone well and in many of them have been downright mean, disrespectful and bordering on scary. You have restored my faith in society. Thank you.”
What did I do? Nothing but treat someone with common decency.
I’m sure if we had gotten further into deep conversations, there would be things we don’t agree on. But that doesn’t mean we can’t treat each other with respect.
We’re better than mistreating others because they aren’t “just like us.”
If we aren’t, we should be.