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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, May 24, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesCoach Paradise: The Good Coming Out of Haiti

Coach Paradise: The Good Coming Out of Haiti

I try and look at every situation as an opportunity for growth and learning. Sometimes those situations are those of my humdrum everyday life: chomping at the bit and grumbling while stuck behind a very slow driver turns into a lesson in patience and then, when I see it’s a student driver or an elderly person – understanding and compassion; learning that good humor and being prepared can make a morning at the DMV an entertaining social event, replete with a guava tart from the tart lady; or watching someone slide into “my” parking place teaching me that even though I may want to strangle them and make a scene, I don’t want to show up unconscious and greedy – like them.

Then there are literally earth-shattering events – like the recent earthquake in Haiti that are so sad and so overwhelming that the most spiritual and wisest among us ask why and shake their heads and weep.

I was talking to a Rasta Farmer at the Ag Fair in Bordeaux, shortly after the quake and the topic of Haiti came up. He said, “A lot of good is going to come out of Haiti” – and I knew what he meant. And I keep knowing as I see people all over these Virgin Islands, the Caribbean, the States, Rwanda and the world at large reaching out, opening their hearts and doing whatever they can to help this ravaged country and its remarkable and resilient people.

Everywhere I turn I see opportunities to donate time, money, medical supplies, food, clothing and prayers. Everywhere. I clicked on an email from American Express about redeeming my rewards points. Usually these are travel awards or ads for ipods and jewelry. Well, there, smack dab in the middle of these items was a box to click on if I wanted to use my rewards points on a donation to Haiti. I’ve never seen that before – and the world is not lacking in disasters or people in need!

I got an email from my college that told about how Vassar has been supporting artists and the arts in Haiti for many years and is now sponsoring art exhibits and drives for art materials and funds to get the artists, the museum and a music school up and running as soon as possible.

On St. Thomas alone the groups, concerts, drives, fundraisers, donations being collected and packed up and the revolving medical teams showing up to serve is heartwarming and inspiring. I know that people’s lives have been changed forever as a result of going to Haiti, and changed on many levels – more appreciation for the blessings that we take for granted, changed in discovering new abilities and talents, changed in knowing how life can be when you are a hands-on contributor truly making a difference, and changed in knowing that sometimes we can only do what we can even when it isn’t enough.

Alanis Morisette has a song called Thank You. The chorus of the song keeps repeating between verses that are both trenchant and deeply spiritual:

Thank you India/Thank you terror/Thank you disillusionment
Thank you frailty/Thank you consequence/Thank you, Thank you silence

Here is the link to the song.

I am adding Thank You Haiti.

The Rasta Man was right – many good things are not only going to come out of Haiti – they are already. The world is softening its heart. The message of one love is being demonstrated every day.

What if Haiti could heal the world?

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