For the first time in my life, I'm finally allowing myself to "walk a mile in somebody else's shoes."
It is rare for me to have multiple topics bouncing around in my head when I sit down to write my daily blog that could literally fill their own post with 500-1200 words. See, my compilation posts are on subjects that all alone would never amount to an entire blog. But here I am. Debating back and forth about which one should win the coveted spot of becoming today’s post.
I want desperately to go off about the entire Karla Homolka thing, but I’ve decided that I will do that once I’ve done my research on the school that is allowing her to volunteer, her marriage, and her sentence. For many reasons I avoided any and all information on those two pieces of shit, which I will cover at length in my post when I finally do blog about her. Therefore I have zero facts about her, other than I know what I think, and I think it is deplorable that she’s walking free. I think it’s insane that somebody married her. I also can’t understand why she wasn’t sterilized while incarcerated, like why does she have a child??? And finally, she most definitely should not be allowed to be around children. Like ever. So, when I post about this, and I will, it will be lengthy, thoughtful and more importantly it will be a call to action. We all must do something, and we will. Mark my words.
Then I thought about writing about what is love? How can we expand the depth of our love in our relationships by allowing ourselves to break free from fear, and allow our partners into our inner emotional circle. Yesterday one of my best friends and I talked about how we say that our lovers/partners/spouses are our “best friends” but are they? This makes me go “hmmm” and I will post about this too at great length. Later.
Today, the winner is the fact that I’m sitting on a plane on my way to Haiti. I’ve never been to Haiti. In fact I’ve avoided traveling to and throwing myself into communities of severe poverty. My best friend Jenanne goes every single year for 10 days to a slum somewhere in the world and helps build houses for people in dire need. She is my hero. She is much braver than I am, and I admire her strength of character deeply. I’ve not gone to these places not because I’m too good for them, or because I don’t want to know about other people suffering, while I’ve been given so much. No. This is not it at all. The reason I’ve not traveled to these types of cities, is two fold: 1) I’m a feeler. I’m deeply sensitive, it disturbs me to my core that any human being has to spend any time of their lives suffering. Never mind the entirety of their one life. I can’t bear the thought that there are children going without. Without food, without clean water, without clothes on their backs, without family, without education, without medical attention. I just can’t stand that. I want to save them all. I want to make a difference in all their lives. But I am only one person, and the world is a big place, and the need within it is even greater.
2) I feel quite powerless thanks to corrupt governments to aid in real change. To put myself in the middle of such intense poverty, and to witness great suffering makes me wish I had an endless supply of money, and power. Power to move corrupt governments to act responsibly. Which sadly, I know will never ever happen, not in all our lifetimes. It is because of the corruption of poverty stricken countries like Haiti, that we’ve never before gotten involved with trying to help make a difference. Yannick and I made a vow to only donate to children’s causes where we could be 1000% certain that the money was going TO the children. Because this was always our motto, we’ve never donated to causes outside of Toronto/Canada. Where we can see their books, and witness the children’s lives being impacted for the better by not only our money, but anybody else who because of us chose to give. Places like Haiti never factored into that.
That was until last year.
We had been keeping an eye on Artists for Peace and Justice for a few years. Our dear friend, and PR maven, Natasha Koifman, owner of NKPR, has been involved with them since the get go. We watched to see how the money was being spent. How the children’s needs were being met. And if the money was really and truly getting to the people who needed it the most, and it was. Finally, last year, their annual gala in Toronto coincided with our schedules and we attended the event. We were moved, and blown away by the incredible work that was being done along with the impact that was being made in the lives of the next generation Haitians by such a small and mighty group of APJers. We were sold. We passionately threw our hats into the ring to become annual donors for five years. Our commitment was steep. But we figured if it didn’t make us uncomfortable, was it really honoring those who have so little and living in such need?
After we discussed it, we decided that; No it wasn’t very giving, or sacrificial of us at all if we simply gave what was easy. So we up’d the ante, and not only gave an amount that wasn’t exactly easy to part with once, never mind every single year for FIVE YEARS. Then we went one step further and agreed to go meet the children who would be benefiting from our financial gift. I mean, it would be so simple to remain disconnected by allowing an organization to run our credit card once a year. If we did just that it lets us off the emotional hook, by allowing us to pretty much forget that we’re even donors, until the statement comes in. But we didn’t want to do that. Both of us are at a time and place in our lives where we want to be better. To deepen our gratitude for our abundant lives, so we’re pushing the boundaries of our comfort zones by agreeing that night, on the spot to go to Haiti. To meet the children. To see their lives, and experience their joy, their hope, their faith live and in person.
I for one am both excited and terrified. I’m looking forward to being inspired by their bravery, and challenged by their joy. So often, I struggle with feelings of ingratitude at not having all that I want. Whether it be in my career, in my marriage, in my friendships or in my daughters accomplishments. I even battle jealousy and envy more regularly than I would care to admit to you all. So, I’m terrified of having the light of less shone on my life of plenty, but know that instinctively that this is the right time for me. I’m ready to go deeper into myself, and to really become the change I want to see in the world.