Through Their Eyes

Spread the love

HaitiIt’s really hard to imagine what it feels like to be someone else. I have watched political leaders and wondered what it is like to carry the weight of a nation’s representation. I have watched Olympic athletes and wondered what it is like to feel the eyes of your nation as they place their hopes on you, willing you to not crack under the pressure. I have sat with street children and listened to their stories, trying to understand what their world looks like and I have also sat with many Canadian teenagers, listening as they poured out their struggles, hopes, and dreams. Now, I watch with the world as a nation tries to survive, one minute at a time, desperately trying to cling to one last hope for survival. What is that like? How can I understand that level of pain, that level of loss? What is life like through their eyes and through their experience? There is so much to be gained when we reach out to people where they are at and choose to try to understand their lives and their journey; to listen to what they are saying, not just hear their voice.The ability to process pain and trauma is sometimes only the luxury of the “rich”, such as you and I. We are blessed to live and function in a world where, although pain and loss exist, we are afforded the ability to be able to pull ourselves away from it to a certain degree, regroup, and decide how we will function from that point forward. We have access to professionals who are trained and available for us to draw strength and resources from and we can begin to process how life is going to have to look from this point forward. This is one of the luxuries of living in the developed world that few of us ever consider.Many of us in LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) and probably many people reading these words right now have experienced pain and loss. We have felt the sting of the finality of death and we have walked through many crises. But always, we have had someone around us who cared, someone around us who was able to help us through it to a certain degree because they were not affected in the same way. And though they may not understand completely, they are still a source of strength to us. But what if you are surrounded by loss, destruction and pain? What if everyone you knew, in your 5-mile radius that you have lived your entire life in, is now walking through the same level of loss. Where do you turn? Who will understand and help you give a voice to those you have lost? Who will reach out with a hand on your shoulder and say, “I am here for you. I love you and I believe in you.”? Who is going to search out those children who are wandering the streets, now orphaned, and maybe not yet even aware of the full extent of their loss? Who will protect them and make sure that they have a future?HaitiSince last week’s earthquake in Haiti, our phones, email accounts and facebook walls have been flooded with questions and concerns for our Haitian friends and family. Thank you! David and the children are all miraculously okay. The homes are still intact, the 65+ kids are safe and we are thankful. However, we still have friends and translators whom we have not yet heard from and like many, we fear the worst. The magnitude of loss and devastation is beyond words and there are moments when it can seem like it is beyond hope. But it isn’t. There are still people whom we work alongside of and whom we are proud to call our friends who are in the middle of the chaos and working to bring at least some glimmer of hope and order back.The world needs you and it needs me. Though we may never stand on a stage in the international arena at attention and though we may never know what it is like to stand on a podium and be hailed a hero for our physical accomplishments, we can still take our place. Our voice, our contributions, our tears, our prayers and our actions are what can turn this around. There are miracles of hope yet waiting to happen and to be celebrated. Together we can do this.The most recent reports are now claiming at least 200,000 deaths from the immediate effects of the earthquake. It is being claimed as the worst catastrophe in the Western Hemisphere in the past 200 years. To be silent is not an option for those of us who claim to want to make a difference. LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) is responding to the Haiti crisis by currently accepting donations to be used where most needed. We have volunteers who are currently on the ground and assessing where our efforts are best directed. As a small, grassroots Canadian charity, we are able to ensure that the money collected is used in a very direct manner.HaitiOur priorities include supporting and developing our current Haiti projects, including the orphanage, Kay Papa Nou and it’s expansion in light of the new orphan crisis and any other determined immediate relief needs. If our funding exceeds what we are currently capable of facilitating in Haiti, then we will redirect the monies to other Haiti relief efforts. If you would like your donations to go towards this, please go to our online form at and specify “Haiti Disaster Relief”. In the event of overfunding, if you prefer us not to send money to other charities, please specify “Haiti : non-restricted” and it will be used towards where most needed in LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute). Also, any money that is collected and designated for Haiti relief by February 12, 2010 is going to be matched by the Canadian Government and will make that much more of a difference!“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.”~ Pema Chodron

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: January 20th, 2010