Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Heaven for Haitians
I hope for the sake of fairness heaven is better for Haitians than it is for guys like me. And by “guys like me” I mean those of us who happen by chance to reside in places free of strife, famine, poverty or redundant natural disaster.
Poor, godforsaken Haiti’s batting 1,000 with that diabolical quartet.
Why some parts of the world are so cursed with enduring misery while others are so blessed with healthy abundance is a confounding mystery.
When guys like me have a bad day, it usually involves one our favorite professional sports teams losing a game and in which we had nothing but contrived emotional stakes.
Guys like me have a bad day when work’s not going well, traffic is a mess, and the forecast -- brrrr! -- calls for unseasonably cold temperatures.
A good day for guys like me usually involves a frolic with the family and maybe a round of free golf with friends at a club so posh that showing up to work there would probably strike many Haitians as heavenly.
Guaranteed, many Haitians would sell his or her soul to trade their $10 a week jobs for one day toting golf bags for $50 tips at one of our posh country clubs.
That would, I imagine, be heaven to them. Honest, if they ever have time to dream in Haiti, a safe menial job at lush places like Oakmont Country Club would seem like heaven.
We’re all seeing what a bad day for guys in Haiti is like.
That’s why I hope, out of fairness, that Haiti heaven is better than the heaven for guys like me. They were so historically screwed just by being born that they’re due a real eternal break.
Many of us have been moved to tears by the poignant stories of people who left places like this to help people in places like that.
Just yesterday, altruistic angels named Jamie and Al McMutrie, sisters from Pittsburgh who’d been running a Haitian orphanage, made national news by shepherding 54 young Haitians to our hometown. Once settled here many of them will now grow up and some of them will become guys like me.
They’ll become Steeler fans. They’ll enjoy riding our scenic little inclines with loved ones they haven’t even met yet. They’ll make friends and duck out of work early to giggle at the Happy Hour.
I’m confident this will happen because, really, there are guys like me all over the place. We’re not out to rule the world. We just don’t want to get run over by it. We like to laugh and joke, sit in the shade when it’s hot and near the fire when it’s cold.
I marvel at the faith that inspires people to leave comfortable lives here and go to Haiti to devote their lives to caring for people for whom life is a daily struggle.
And God bless the people who are lining up to take these sad orphans into their homes and give them a chance to grow up to be guys like me.
I’d offer to do it but guys like me figure we already do our share. I gave $50 to UNICEF last week and went to bed convinced that I’d done my part and that there was nothing more I could do to help anyone.
When you think about it, it’s a wonder guys like me have the audacity to even speculate if a heaven he may never deserve to see will be superior to anyone else’s.