Answering the Call



            At the dawn of this new decade, I asked readers of Regal Magazine to make New Year’s resolutions to have a positive impact on the lives of others, and not focus on selfish desires in 2010.

            Shortly after the publication of that editorial, the town of Port-au-Prince, Haiti was struck with an earthquake and aftershock of catastrophic proportions, killing hundreds of thousands of Haitians, orphaning children and practically forcing an entire city into homelessness.

            The Haiti earthquake touched all of our hearts and reminded us just how precious life can be.  In a matter of seconds, an entire city was practically ripped to pieces, each image broadcast through the media becoming almost unbearable to watch.

            However, in the midst of that anguish and despair, you answered the call to duty, donating money, goods and time to make the pain experienced by the victims of the Haiti earthquake a little bit easier to bear.

            The same call to action was answered in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina devastated much of the Gulf Coast, most notably the New Orleans area.  Furthermore, when you were called to act after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, heroes in the New York police and fire departments risked and even gave their lives, in an attempt to assist others who were fighting to survive.

            Despite the devastation that the Haiti earthquake wreaked on an entire nation, the quick response from ordinary citizens around the globe showed the difference we can make when we are compassionate and empathetic to another’s plight.  Nevertheless, the fight for the victims of the Haiti earthquake is far from over and we should encourage all to continue to give because we never know when we could be the victim of such a catastrophic event.

            However, we should hold on to that spirit of giving and allow it to translate into our everyday lives, not just at a time of disaster.

            Although very few can ever imagine the pain that the people of Haiti are enduring at this very moment, we should remember that there are countless individuals dealing with life’s tragic twists and turns on a daily basis.  We should make it a point to give back to people who are facing the pain and struggle that we were blessed to avoid.

            Whether they are coping with homelessness, illness or just the rollercoaster ride of life, many people who are less fortunate than us need our help on a daily basis.  Regardless, if it is donating to a homeless shelter or giving someone an encouraging word, never wait until something catastrophic occurs to be a benefit to others.

            Before the Haiti earthquake, this small island nation was suffering and very few, including myself, were lending a helping hand.  Unfortunately, after the news cameras and aid workers leave this nation, many Haitians and many citizens will still be struggling to make it through the day.  The question is will we still care and continue to make a difference in the lives of those who need it most?

           When the last survivors of the Haiti earthquake are rescued, and the images slowly began to fade from news coverage, will you go back to life as usual, or will you continue with the spirit that we have shown and continue to make a positive difference in the lives?


Smith is publisher of Regal Black Men’s Magazine.

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