I am not alone, certainly, in watching news clips of the happenings in Haiti and experiencing shock, anguish, and tearful hope and wonder as people are still being rescued seven days after their world was trampled. I am probably also not alone in marveling at the fortitude of the people in general and especially those rescued. The courageousness of the rescue workers, the families who are standing by broken-down buildings day after day hoping for signs of life, and the media for helping to share these sights with us cannot but inspire devotion to seeing Haiti rebound, better than ever.
In contrast to the ugliness in the words of some, who seek to blame the victims, I watched as a husband stood vigil (six days after the quake) outside a demolished bank building that was being bulldozed, racing forward each time the machines stopped to call for his wife. And he found her... alive, thirsty, and in pain. And she wanted him to know that no matter what happened, she loved him. It was a moving story, seen here, but what struck me the most was what she said, moments after her rescue, to the newsman who asked if she thought she was going to live.
Her answer: Live. Why not?
For those who blame these amazing victims of a geological disaster, I say think carefully about what blame they’ve earned. At my count, their humble heroism is responsible for making me feel small and petty for all the things I have the luxury to complain about in my own life. These people make me want to do more, pay more attention to the world out there, take an interest in seeing the situation in Haiti improve. These people will survive and triumph; that is what I believe and I completely blame the Haitian people for that belief.
Some will point to the looting as evidence against the heroes, but for every time we in our daily lives show some ugliness toward each other (when not under true duress), like say in traffic, to our food server, to our office mates, or to our families, we are displaying all that is required to one day be desperate and unruly enough to be part of the problem instead of the solution.
All I know is that what I want to be in my life is a person who says, “Why not?” in the face of everything. Will we triumph in our journeys? Why not? Will we be better? Why not? Can we all do a little bit more for others in this world? Why not?
And if I am fortunate enough in my life to evolve into the person I most want to be, you know exactly what I am going to do: blame the Haitians.