Call me a jerk, but I don't care about Haiti. I don't even care that you're thinking I'm a jerk because I admitted it. I feel bad that it happened, its shame and all, but I just shrug and f5 my Twitter.
9/11, Katrina, the tsunami... When these types of disasters happen, the number of people dead is just staggering. Its too much for me to ponder: I can feel bad for my friend Rachel who's father died Wednesday, but how can I empathize with 100,000 families? I feel no more grief for 2 people than I do for 2,000 or 2 million.
9/11 was a man-made disater, caused by "evil-doers," but Haiti's earthquake was what we'd call "an act of God," God delivered that evil onto the people of Haiti. Believers then says they will pray for the victims, but God just showed he has no concern for these people, how could the prayers of some strangers in their behalf possibly sway God? and to what end? The deed is done.
I didn't offer to pray for Rachel or her father. I told her I was sorry it happened, and offered to listen. I touched her arm and made eye contact. I try to smile when I see her, and let her lead the conversation where she wants it to go. That's as much as I can do. I can't do that for a Haitian on the other side of the globe. I feel for Rachel because she's here & I can relate to losing a dad, but I have no frame of reference for a disaster.
Some people will pretend a disaster -- man made or act of God -- isn't really an evil. They'll spin it to be 'an opportunity for others to be charitible' or some other platitude. "When God closes a door, he opens a window." Others will crumble, "its just not fair!", and will become angry at God and the hand they've been dealt.
We're nothing but the sum of experiences, both our own & those we witness. We draw conclusions based on the patterns and commonalities between the two, that's how we reason. When a disaster strikes, its like a finger toppling the dominos and one by one, all our patterns & conclusions are shifted: the big picture changes. Sometimes even the most reasonable among us have trouble coping with those changes, but just as often, we feel desensitized.
Rachel keeps saying she feels numb. I can relate.