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The BIG picture
Like you, I'm amazed at the emptying out of pockets to provide aid for tsunami victims. Unlike you, that doesn't give me the warm fuzzies. It simply makes me wonder why we wait until disaster strikes to lend a humanitarian hand.

Case in point: As a blood banker, I was witness to a hysterical response by Americans in the days following the WTC bombings to do something by donating blood. The majority of America's blood centers ( with the exception of the American Red Cross ) spent that time explaining the 42 day life span of a donated red blood cell and asking folks to come back later. In fact, very few of them have. On any given day of any month or year 5 percent of this country's population donates blood to support the needs of the other 95 percent. The only way that this is logistically possible is that donors can roll up their sleeves every 56 days and most of 'em are regulars.

And so, when disaster strikes we are unprepared because we do not give from a sense of doing the right thing for others, but from a need to be a hero.The number of orphans in Africa far surpasses those in tsunami stricken areas due to the ravages of HIV for 20 years. Children in this country go to bed hungry and alone each and every night because they and their parents have "fallen into the cracks" between the haves and the have nots.

Don't mistake my motives here. I was just as awed by the power of tsunami as anyone else. But I also wish we could be a bit more proactive in our relief efforts to everyone everywhere instead of waiting for "the big one" to get offa our butts.

Y'all keep the faith. ^j^
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