January 2010 Archives

Last Week's Haiti Telethon

| 1 TrackBack

Watching last week's Haiti telethon, it strikes me that there's a lesson to be learned here. This is a Jewish story that I enjoy telling:

A boy and his father are on a fishing trip. A drowning man comes floating down the river, and the boy and his father pull him out and save him. Then comes another man, and another, and the boy and his father save them all. But then the father starts walking away. "Why are you leaving?" asks the boy. "Shouldn't we keep pulling people out of the river?" "No," answers the father. "I'm going upriver to see why they keep falling in."

While I agree that it's crucial to support the rescue and recovery effort, especially by donating to organizations like AJWS that have effective connections with successful NGOs on the ground, there's a larger issue that we must examine. Haiti is the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere, AJWS says, which makes it especially vulnerable to natural disasters. Shouldn't someone take a minute to walk upriver, and find out why the people are falling in?