I just read an article by Nicholas Kristoff in the NY Times about Haiti. I went to see Kristoff speak this fall at F&M college. There is a compassion element in his reporting that I find refreshing and invigorating-- in spurring me to action in a way that other reporters fail. I trust his answers because he has done his homework and travelled to the places he speaks about. I have travelled, but not extensively and very little has been international, but I fall into the "God bless the whole world--no exceptions" camp. The United States is a big country. You could travel all over and see so much, that going outside its borders isn't really necessary. Only 30% of Adults in this country even have a passport. Forget other countries, people don't want to seem to want to leave their own villages. In the area where I live, it is not unusual to find adults who have never been to New York City--a three hour drive by car. That is a travesty.
In this day of easy transportation and Internet access, the world is getting smaller and we as Americans need to familiarize ourselves with it. We can't afford to stay in our little boxes. In this tragedy that is Haiti, I am thankful for my neighbor Marsha who opened my horizons. She has done missions work in Haiti. She has shared photos of her experience and introduced me to citizens of Haiti, one of whom is a med student in Port Au Prince. Waiting days to find out if Richard survived (he did, but he lost everything) has made the experience so real for me--just as knowing I had a college housemate living in New Orleans during Katrina. Maybe it is time to reach out to more people, places, and experiences. It reminds me that we are all human and all connected.