Like most people in the US, I was stunned and horrified by the horrible damage suffered by the people of Haiti after they were hit with a 7.0 earthquake last week. And like many, I did what I could do to aid in the disaster relief efforts by donating to a worthy charity. It got me thinking, why do we wait until a disaster to help out the little guy?
Would the people of Haiti be suffering in the same way now if we had been proactive in helping their improvised nation raise their standard of living and infrastructure? In this Op-Ed from the New York Times, David Brooks points out that a similar earthquake in San Francisco killed 63 people as opposed to the 72,000 reported killed in Haiti by CNN. Brooks suggests that the tragedy in Haiti is a result of poverty, not a natural disaster. Further more, we aren’t tackling the problem in the most effective manner.
But why do we wait until over 70,000 people die in Haiti before mobilizing into action?
Is it part of human nature? Or something inherent about living in a country where despite economic hardship, we’re all living comfortably compared to much of the rest of the world?
This train of thought brought me to other parallels (albeit smaller in scale and importance).
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