Anyone who's even glimpsed at the news lately knows about the terrible earthquake in Haiti. It reminds me of an earlier time, and an earlier post.
I'll try not to go into too much detail here, but quite a few of you know that I began my first blog on Blogger, David'Z RantZ, just under two years ago. However, before finding its home on Blogger, David'Z RantZ existed in an earlier incarnation on a blogsite called DiaryLand. My blog actually began in late September or early October of 2003!
On January 7, 2005, approximately two weeks after the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and its resultant, devastating tsunami, I posted the following article to my blog. The earthquake and tsunami had caused between 184,000 and 230,000 deaths. (The difference is based on the total deaths which were confirmed, and the total of those deaths which were estimated.)
I "recycled" that post, entitled "Putting Things in Perspective," for my new David'Z RantZ on October 7, 2008. Here's most of it:
I guess we all need a wake-up call once in a while.
In my last RantZ entry, I dipped a little more deeply than usual into my personal "well," as it were, and more than implied that things in my personal life have pretty much depressed me for the past several months. There have been a few oases of nice occurrences, but I pretty much had the attitude of "sucks to be me." And this attitude uncharacteristically invaded my RantZ pages.
(Um. There's no actual apology forthcoming for that little anomaly, in case you're wondering. Each time you visit this page, you do so at your own risk, after all. "Enter freely and of your own free will," and all that.)
So, there I was, wallowing in my own little puddles of disappointment and hard times, although acknowledging somewhere in the back of my mind that there were & are people whose lives were progressing much, much more dismally than mine. But, as I often say to anyone who'll listen, "My broken finger hurts me more than your broken leg hurts... me." In other words, it's all relative, so my problems affect me more than your problems do, because they're... well... my problems. And no amount of sympathizing, empathizing, or any other kind of 'pathizing (No, it's not a word; don't bother looking it up!) with anyone else is gonna change that.
Well, usually not.
Anybody seen the news lately?
The death toll from the earthquake and subsequent tsunamis which assaulted Southeast Asia is still increasing. I won't go into great detail about this enormous tragedy, figuring that you know everything you want to know about it if you follow the news at all, and there's certainly nothing new that I can add in terms of overall information. But as I watched the estimated deaths increase by thousands every bulletin, it sort of made my own troubles -- some medical issues, a few late payments, a handful of skipped meals, an emotional disappointment or two (or even three) and some more things I won't mention here (or anywhere else, for that matter) -- pale by comparison. Estimates leaped by roughly twenty thousand at a time!
In fact, they still haven't halted the tally. The latest article (about an hour ago) I read had estimated 145,000 deaths. It's truly mind-boggling. And saddening.
Even more than having your defroster crack your car's windshield the day before you go for your inspection sticker.
(And no, I'm not making fun of them, I'm making fun of me. I can do that.)
Like I said, putting things in perspective...
Maybe that post made its nifty little point in a fairly inoffensive way, but not being part of the solution is being part of the problem, or so they say...
So at this point I'd like to direct you to the banner at the top of this page, right under my "Silver Fox" heading.
Briefly put, Operation USA is only one of a zillion charities helping out around the world, but I'm impressed by their 30-year track record... and how they actually use each dollar that you give them. They've been given the highest rating (four stars) by Charity Navigator, which -- if I understand their figures correctly -- says that Operation USA puts almost 98% of their donations toward actual relief, rather than huge staff salaries, administrative expenses, etc.! And if you know even as much about charities as I do -- which, admittedly, isn't much -- you know that that's an incredibly high percentage.
So, if you're inclined to give whatever you can afford, even if it's "next time" rather than in this specific instance, check 'em out.
Thanks for your time.