Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Guilt

I could talk about our struggles with my teenager.

But children are dying.


I could talk about the new lino I picked out for my kitchen floor.


But children are dying.


I could talk about how Miss Tiny now weighs more than Miss Curious and they share most clothes.


But children are dying.


I could talk about how my friend is home from donating her kidney to my cousin and how much easier life is with only six kids vs. seven.


But children are dying.


I don't know how to transition from the horror of what has happened, and what IS happening in Haiti back to my real life. I feel disrespectful of the sacrifices, the loss of life, the current suffering to say "Hey, I got a new coffee pot and it totally ROCKS" or "Isn't this warm weather great?" or " MAN my kid is mouthy on his new meds".

We gave more than we could afford (I hope you did to) but it feels like an embarrassment compared to the need. Is it denial to take my girls to the park and have fun? Is it evil of me to turn off the tv because the images of grieving mothers searching for their children is just too painful? When is it ok to stop asking for donations on my facebook status?

My life, my troubles and even my joys seem so trivial in comparison to the great need and the great struggle to survive going on right now in a country that I love. But who are we kidding? That same struggle goes on every single day by millions around the globe. It has since I started blogging. It has for a thousand years before that.

And I suppose that is the thought I cling to most, this reminder that if you are reading this, you are lucky. You are one of the richest people on the globe. If you can afford a computer and internet and even macaroni for your next meal you are in the top 5% in world wide wealth. If you have a safe place to sleep tonight, you are one of the lucky. By a twist of fate I happen to have been born into a country that gives me medical care I expect and education I can take for granted. Are you appreciative of what you undeservedly have?

To whom much has been given, much is required.

8 comments:

Sandy said...

For the first time since 9/11 I can't bear to watch the news. I hug my kids repeatedly all day long. The horror in Haiti has affected me more than any other world disaster. I too feel so guilty Jen. Our school is fundraising and we hope to sponsor one or two students for Karen. But I feel so guilty. For the 2 houses I now own. For the food on my table. We know so many people with ties to Haiti and are praying for them all.

Patty said...

So true.

Jenny said...

So very true.

Moonspun said...

The fact that you know you are privileged in many ways is really important. The fact that you care is crucial. The fact that you gave a donation is worthy and honorable. The fact that you still have your blessed life to live is ok.
I feel grateful to be safe. It's ok that you do, too.

Di said...

Well said! You are not alone in what you are thinking...

Robyn said...

i feel the same way. i go to sign off the computer, or turn off the tv, and i feel guilty because i can do just that, turn it off and
"go on with my day". your post makes me think of reading on michael schofield's blog something about "bearing witness". its hard feeling helpless, thank you for sharing that you feel the same way.

Lala's world said...

It is definitely a strange feeling continuing on when so many are suffering and so many still dying from treatable wounds! makes you wonder at it all, frustrated by feeling helpless and thankful we are safe and sound! I agree it's hard to even know what to post as a silly who the crap cares Facebook status!! It is hard to know what to believe what you hear IF the supplies are really being held up by the government and so on...so much turmoil upon turmoil! and the US stations seem to still be so eager to report on Conan and Leno!! crazy to me!
I struggle on what to blog about...how to continue recording my insignificant life while this is going on...I think we have to carry on and hope that we are inspired to do more and do with less for ourselves and do more for others.

HMK said...

I think the same things!