There are countless ways to look at 12 January. Many news outlets are doing the whole "Haiti is still a mess" news story (everyone of those journos needs to choke on their pen). You could be more hopeful and talk about all the progress that has been made (yes, there is REAL progress here). Some will spend the day mourning, still grieving the loss of their loved ones; to those- my heart breaks for you.
I want to take this 12 January and the ones that follow and do three things:
First, I am so thankful that I am alive. Fate, chance, sound construction, soil conditions, timing, God's will- I have no idea why I am alive when so many others are not. I want to dwell on the simple, often-taken-for-granted-fact that I am alive and everything reminds me of it: my hunger, my thirst, my sweat, my joy, my sadness. I am alive. A wise woman once began a speech by asking: what will you do with your one wild and precious life? I want to make mine count. I am thankful that my best friend and partner-in-crime- Katie is alive with me. Many people lost their spouse and I do not think I could do much without her.
Second, I want to remember. Today many families are looking at the holes left by members who were violently snatched from them. I want to remember that lives were radically shifted, and the pain from that is not easily healed even now. I want to remember that I teach, and work with, people who never got to say goodbye to their fathers, family members, and friends.
Lastly, I want to hope. I hope that the best has yet to come for Haiti. I hope that despite the yearly crap reporting about how behind Haiti is, even now it is being restored to a glory that we cannot imagine. I hope that this work is not all in vain. I hope that lives, homes, governments, and businesses will be restored.
I do not want these to be just mental exercises and quiet prayers that I offer up to my God. Rather, I want to tell people how much I care about them, show compassion to those who need it and build Haiti's future.
That is what I am doing on 12 January.