I've been avoiding reading or watching coverage of the earthquake in Haiti. It's upsetting to me, and sitting there crying about it doesn't accomplish anything for me or for the people who are suffering.
And it makes me feel guilty to be sitting here in a cute little coffee shop in the coastal California tourist town Morro Bay, wearing a new sweater and boots, drinking a four dollar cup of chai after road-tripping it here in our Corvette yesterday, having dinner out, and spending the night in a hotel.
I think nothing of throwing away money on frivolous beverages while the people in Haiti don't even have water to drink. Think about that. Just pause and think. The last time you purchased a beverage, did you even think about it? Or did you just buy it, drink it (maybe not even all of it), and toss the bottle away without a second thought? Because that's what I do. Sure, I try not to waste anything and I recycle, but I never think about the possibility of not having anything to drink.
I'm privileged. That's what it comes down to. I'm incredibly privileged. There's not much that I want that I don't eventually get. Privileged and spoiled.
But this post isn't supposed to be about me. It's about the people of Haiti who need help. Desperately.
If you identify with anything I've said about privilege, please give what you can to organizations that are working in Haiti. I donated to Doctors Without Borders today, and there is a helpful guide of groups to support and those to avoid at Lifehacker. If you are reading this, you are probably equally as privileged as I am, so please give. It's as simple as skipping that daily $5 cup of coffee.
P.S. Go enter Classy in Philadelphia's giveaway. It's jewelry--you know you want to!
P.P.S. I recognize the irony of bloviating about the importance of charitable giving and then going right back to my materialistic ways in the very next breath, but think of it this way: if you win the giveaway you can give the money that you otherwise would have spent on jewelry to charity. See how nicely that works?