A conversation in class

The day after the Haiti earthquake, two of my students were talking about why it wasn’t our job or our business to help out in Haiti.
One of the students in our college ministry is from Haiti, and I’ve heard him give his testimony, so maybe I’m a bit biased, but I couldn’t help but interject how lucky they were to be born wealthy and citizens of the US to parents who loved them.
I’m not sure either of the students understood my point.
After the school day ended, both whipped out their iPhones to check their latest Facebook updates. Facebook they get. The sheer poverty of a country 681 miles from the US, they don’t get it and they don’t care to get it.
Now that CNN is reporting several thousands Americans dead or missing, they care. But until then, they didn’t understand what the big deal was.
They’re not alone.
Their favorite radio personality Rush Limbaugh agrees.
And Pat Robertson says the Haitians have no one to blame but themselves and the devil.
It makes me sad that they don’t care.
Fortunately, others do. Our student council is sponsoring a fundraiser to donate money to the Red Cross. The basketball teams are raising money at their games with Hoops for Haiti. Both efforts have met with success.
I haven’t watched much news since the earthquake. It hurts too much to see the devastation. But while cruising news sites today I saw an amazing story about a Haitian woman still buried in the rubble. She’s stuck, and yet, she’s singing and praising God, thankful that people know she’s there but also happy to know that if she dies, her soul is safe.
That’s an amazing faith. It’s the kind of faith I’ve seen from the young Haitian man in our college class. He explained in our local paper that just waking up and walking outside takes faith in Haiti, even before this new disaster.
Maybe that’s why the boys talking in my class don’t get it. When they wake up they grab some breakfast, jump in their cars and drive to school. Right now, they don’t have to exercise their faith all that much, other than the faith that the AM station carrying Rush will actually come in on any given day. They don’t care because they don’t get it. That’s on us, the adults who let that happen.
We’ve got a lot of work to do.

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6 responses to “A conversation in class

  1. Dear sister, fact check yourself before you take what main-stream media says about Rush. He NEVER said not to donate to Haiti. He said not to donate to the government to help out Haiti. Donate to private relief organizations like the Red Cross or something. The rest is liberal media spinning it to try to make him look bad and I CAN’T BELIEVE you, of all people, bought it.

    • You know the only Limbaugh I hear is the Limbaugh on CNN or MSNBC. 🙂
      Back when I was a Republican, I thought he gave us a bad name.
      I don’t say Rush here, because I don’t want anyone to confuse RUSH–rocking awesome and wonderful and Rush–the blowhard.
      It’s interesting that CNN got it wrong. Nothing he says would surprise me, so I didn’t think twice about the story. He doesn’t need any help from the mainstream media in spinning him to look bad, he does fine on his own.
      I LOVE your example about six degrees of separation. Beautifully put. You should start blogging!

      • I considered it, but then who would post snarky comments on this blog? If you REALLY thought that about Rush Limbaugh then you never listened to him. CNN, MSNBC, and anyone else will always get it wrong, especially the LA Times. Rush is an example of true conservatism. Yes, he is full of himself. That’s why he’s fun to listen to. I really think much of that is for show. If it isn’t, well, some people are just like that, especially powerful people. I have lib friends who listen to him for fun. it gets them mad or they just think he’s wrong. But he’s still VERY entertaining and a great speaker. You don’t get the largest radio audience anywhere being bad at speaking. You should try it sometime.

      • “I should try it.”
        No, thanks. I don’t think I could handle the stress. It might turn me into a drug addict. 🙂

  2. By the way, I agree with your point about many people in the US, especially young people. They tend to look at anyone outside of their circle as completely foreign. However, I would say that this is not unique to the US or even to modern times. Remember the story of the Good Samaritan. The people who passed by were leaders in the Jewish community. Even think about how you yourself (me, too) drive past people stopped on the side of the road, obviously having trouble. Or Think about the guy at the exit holding the sign, “Will work for food,” or “Anything helps.” I pass these people all the time telling myself that they aren’t REALLY in that bad a spot. That guy probably drives a Mercedes. They probably already called someone. They are close to the exit. Not that far a walk for gas. Basically what I’m saying is, “I’m glad I’m not that guy.” The further removed we are from a tragedy, the less the tragedy is to us. The earthquake seemed far away in another country. It became more real when we realized there were many Americans missing who were there at the time of the earthquake. The emotions come home as we find out about a person from somewhere we’ve been was there and hasn’t been heard from yet. Or even more, someone we know can’t locate someone they know. The “friend of a friend” thing. Six degrees of separation seems like a lot. It only seems that way until you understand how those degrees are connected.

  3. OK. I started one. See if you can find it. (I linked to yours in my first post.)

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