Sunday, January 17, 2010
Caring And Honesty
Below you'll find an email from my friend Marian Spadone regarding what you can do for the people of Haiti. This organization seems on the level and doing great work. I just made a donation myself.
Here's a little side story: I was sitting around talking with my wife Samarra and I started talking about how we all naturally are constantly organizing and prioritizing the constant torrents of information that we are offered from the world. We have to really. It is not possible to give equal weight to everything that is happening. We have to favor some info, forget, ignore or prioritize as "low" other info. We can't "care" equally about everything except intellectually. We can pretend to "care" about everything but not really.
As an example, I said, if that earthquake had happened in New York, or Chicago, or Portland, or Ashland (progressively closer to home), I would naturally "care" more and more about the effects on people. But realistically, to be totally honest, I said, "I just don't care about the people of Haiti, not enough to give them any money."
Interestingly, though, the minute I said this out loud, a shift happened in me and I did care enough to give them some money. So rather than pretending that I care, or "caring" out of some guilty feeling that I should care, I prefer what I would term a more Taoist approach, which is to care if I care, don't care if I don't care, but to be honest about it, recognizing that when I am honest, I may change.
So here's my request of you.
Think about making a relief donation, and, if you would like to but seriously can't afford it, say it out loud.
If you honestly care, but not enough to make a donation, say that out loud.
If you honestly don't care and don't want to make a donation, say that out loud.
And, if you do care and would like to make a donation, consider the Mercy Corps link below.
And here's Marian's email:
If you've been stricken speechless, and feeling helpless about what to do for the people of Haiti, there's a great local organization called Mercy Corps who are doing exceptional work already there and can use all the help they can get. They're a 4 star charity, at least 89% of donated funds go directly toward relief, and they're primary focus is disaster relief. They've got teams in place in Haiti, some great ideas, and are already working to help the situation. I just read that estimates of the number of people dead are as high as 200,000. That's like one third...1/3.. the population of Portland. It's hard to imagine. So...if you've been a bit paralyzed, here's a link to easily go and contribute. No amount is too small.
Blessings on us all,