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9238: Re: 9230: sliding into the abyss (fwd)

From: Matt Ray <mray@novell.com>

Ah, what a breath of fresh air!   I agree completely with the sentiments discussed in this post.   I have become overwhelmed at times in my efforts to help Haiti.    When I see all that needs to be overcome, part of me wants to say, "I am having no affect on Haiti, why should I even try."   But my thoughts always go back to the story of the starfish....

A man was jogging down the beach after a major storm had just come through the area.  He was dismayed by the huge number of starfish that the storm had washed up on the beach.  He thought that there was nothing he could do because of the immense numbers. As he continued down the beach he saw an old man throw something into the water.  As he got closer, he saw the old man walk a little farther down the beach, bend over, pick up a starfish and throw it back into the water. As the jogger approached, the old man stopped again, bent over, picked up another starfish and was about to throw it into the water. The jogger stopped and asked "Why are you doing that? There are thousands of starfish on the beach. You can't possibly make a difference." The old man looked at the starfish, threw it back into the water, then replied, "I made a difference to that one, didn't I?"       

I know this is a sentimental story, but at times this is the only story I can conjure up in my mind in dealing with the plight of Haiti.    One person, can have a large affect on the lives of others, one life at a time.    If we all give up, thinking it's hopeless, or too big or we can't control the situation, then we'll stop doing those things that we can do.    Steven Covey called it the Circle of Influence.  At first, our Circle of Influence might be small, but it can grow if we work at it.  

I would love to be able to go in and change Haiti overnight.   Unfortunately I don't have the power or the Circle of Influence to do that, so I'll do whatever *is* in my power to do, and that is help Haiti in my own way, helping one or a few people at a time. 

Matt Ray
Healing Hands for Haiti

>>> Bob Corbett <corbetre@webster.edu> 10/11/01 07:41AM >>>

From: casey wolf <haitiw@yahoo.com>

i have to say that the constant repetition of
proclamations of hopelessness around haiti ever being
able to make its way out of a bad situation do not
seem geared toward anything constructive, though i
know they are not intended to cause more hopelessness.
 it seems to me that however long a situation has been
bad, and however bad in however many ways it is, there
is always hope and if there isn't, we should just
watch "all in the family" and forget about it.  if
there IS hope, then we do not actually inspire people
to action by saying the slide into the abyss is
inevitable, we smother (more or less effectively) the
hope and energy that still lives in the people who
want to avert that possible future.  

haiti is not separate from the rest of the world, and
its problems are the same as those facing the entire
planet.  the whole place is challenged by huge
problems and we need to make deep changes in our
thinking, in our beliefs, in our ways of being.  and
we can.  we have never been at this point in history
before, we have never had the experience we now have,
the tools we now have, or the situation that sobers us
into looking for abysses.  we have opportunities to
learn from each other, and from our own lives, as
never before.  we are bound to keep screwing up but
bit by bit we can make the changes we want.  please,
if you want to help your cause, speak in words of
hope, not words of hopelessness, no matter how awful
the stories you need to tell.  give yourself a chance
to believe in what you are fighting for, and to
inspire the rest of us to work shoulder to shoulder
with you.


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