Friday, January 15, 2010

Compassion or Hypocricy?

I was quite reluctant to start using Facebook at first. I was a little nervous about the privacy and maybe just a little reluctant to re-connect with some people. It does make it a little awkward when one is "friended" by someone they don't quite want to be friended by. For some it's their parents. Or maybe that old high school flame. For the most part it has been a fun experience for me. But I think I have really gotten to know some people's true feeling via the anonymity and the actual faceless nature of conversations. People who are more conservative than I knew, or more religious sometimes caught me off guard. And I did find it a little unnerving to re-connect with the parents of some of my friends, which may border on the creepy depending on whom we're talking about.

There is one person whom "friended" me that at the time I thought was a little weird, since we never quite got along. A person who I thought was kinda a jerk growing up. It was my friend's older brother. On the outside it seemed like he finally had gotten his act together. He is married with two daughters. He seemed to have found God and Jesus and I was hoping a less than A-hole character that he had as a teen. That maybe he had turned around. But, he still makes the same off color comments, the same rude, racist, and sexist remarks that make me cringe. So, today, I am turning him off. Usually I can tune these people out, but yesterday I had it.

Here's the thing, his comments yesterday were not sexist, or even racist, I think they were just cold hearted and political and it made me sick. He was pissed off that the United States, IE: Obama, was promising to send $100 million in aid to Haiti. I know that his reasoning is sound. Yes the United States is in a hole so big, that even black holes in space have hole envy. I know that unemployment and the economy here in the States is dire. That the fact that more and more people are facing homelessness and poverty is astronomical. The idea that we even have $100 million to send is ridiculous....but just the same. We are talking about the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation. These are people who have little to nothing and now nature has come and smacked them down. I believe that before nationality, before race, or sex, we as a people must help each other. The people of Haiti have no food, no water, no electricity. Their government has been broken, the people who are trained to help have either been hurt themselves or are dealing with their own losses. Our country and our people have the resources and the ability to help and we should. We would hope and pray the same kind of compassion for our own...which we failed to do after Hurricane Katrina.

But I remember the 1994 earthquake in California. I remember sleeping in the tent outside the house because we were too scared to go in. I remember going to the stores to stand in line for milk and bread. We were out electricity and water for two days. I can only imagine the feeling of the people in Haiti to be ten fold of what we felt. But I remember my Dad rushing in to my brother's room as he was leaving for work when the quake hit to protect and cover him. I remember the apartment building in the Valley crushing and killing people. The 5 freeway collapsing. I remember the fear. I may not be religious, but I know that the Bible, the Koran, and the Torah all teach compassion and alms giving. The Hypocrisy of the people shouting to take care of our own while quoting the Bible is not wasted on me. We must take care of each other, no matter who we are or where we live. As a mother, I can not watch the news and hear more and more stories of children stuck in the rubble. I can no longer watch the desolation and desperation on the faces of other mothers. If that was one of my girls, I would hope that someone out there, with the resources I needed to rescue them. I am fortunate to live in the United States, where when Balloon Boy is reported flying over the county, that the government can deploy the National Guard to help.

Maybe I shouldn't judge other people's sense of morality.

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