At home; Hatin’ on Haiti

New Jersey -- Although Taj is taking piano lessons, he is beginning to explore other instruments.  I couldn’t see myself abandoning Taj’s needs in favor of someone else's. I wonder why Americans seem content to help everyone but themselves.

New Jersey —
Although Taj is taking piano lessons, he is beginning to explore other instruments.
I couldn’t see myself abandoning Taj’s needs in favor of someone else’s. I wonder why Americans seem content to help everyone but themselves.

I took the this pic while Taj and I were at a music store here in Jersey yesterday. He likes playing the piano, but I was happy to see him picking up a pair of drumsticks. (I’m a bit of a drummer myself.)

Back when I was a young’un, I used to play drums at church in Topeka (Antioch Missionary Baptist.) I kept playing through middle school (Jardine,) and high school (Highland Park High in Topeka, and George Washington High in Denver.) I haven’t really been able to play as much as I’d like to since I joined the military, but I can still keep a beat long enough to hold my son’s attention.

Anyway, after hangin’ out with Taj at the music store yesterday, we returned home to find Muna watching the Hope for Haiti Now fundraising telethon. It seemed like a nice effort. There were lots of celebrities; lots of emotion … All pouring out for victims of the recent disaster. (Kanye West didn’t get a chance to grab the mic and blurt out that President Obama hates black people, but it was still a pretty good show.)

According to news reports, the Haiti telethon surpassed the Katrina telethon, raising more money for Haitians than for hurricane victims in Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and other parts of the Gulf Coast.

It bothers me that we tend to be more caring about others than we are about ourselves. I’m not specifically comparing Haitian victims to Katrina victims. But, I AM saying that it seems as if we enjoy being SEEN helping others, even if we neglect ourselves in the process.

The whole travel-to-a-foreign-country-to-adopt-a-minority-kid fad:

Really? There aren’t deserving children who need good homes right here within the U.S.? For the record, I haven’t adopted a child before. But according to Eliza Carney, a journalist and contributor to Adoptive Families magazine, the perception that it’s easier to adopt internationally is just a myth. You can find minority children who need loving families right here in the U.S., and you can do so faster and cheaper than going abroad in most cases. (This is especially true if wanting to adopt Black children, who make up only 15 % of domestic adoptions, being eclipsed by the demand for Caucasian and Asian children.)

That’s just one example, but given some time, and my good friend, Mr. Google, I’m sure you could find examples of recent catastrophic events here in America, recent disaster-related homelessness here in America, or recent examples of violence/terrorism/human rights abuses … All right here in America (even in your own city.) And, all of which may have affected innocent American victims to the point in which they could use some humanitarian assistance.

Admittedly, U.S. disasters may not have the large numbers of need that overseas cases seem to have. (They certainly don’t receive the same amount of media coverage.) But, I only have one son. And, if I’m faced with helping Taj alone, or helping 100 anonymous children, I’m helping Taj first. (Of course, AFTER I help Taj, I’ll do what I can for the other 100.)

I do realize the irony in my decrying helping others overseas, when I am, in fact, deployed overseas in Afghanistan. For the record, if given the opportunity, I would MUCH rather be home.

My condolences and prayers are with the Haitian people and those suffering in the wake of the quake. And my sincerest thanks to those who have donated to help them in their time of need.

But, charity begins at home. Don’t ignore Haiti, or yourself.

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