The earthquake that plunged Haiti into darkness is another blow to a nation that has seen more than its share of misery.
My heart weeps for Haiti and her children.
The situation in Haiti has been so challenging for so many years, due to politics, poverty, prior natural disasters, etc. But this current situation is truly catastrophic.
Watching as Haitians piled bodies along the devastated streets of their capitol after the strongest earthquake in more than 200 years hit the poor Caribbean nation is almost more than I could bear.
And there was no discrimination – thousands of structures, from schools and shacks to the National Palace and the U.N. peacekeeping headquarters were crushed.
The devastation was so complete that it seemed likely the death toll could run well into the thousands – and I think that is a conservative estimate. Seeing the faces filled with pain and desperation, hearing the stories of unimaginable horror and hopelessness brought the same rush of feelings that I experienced during Hurricane Katrina.
At that time, I was hosting the morning show in Chicago, and we took call after call from people who were missing family members or friends and couldn’t get in touch with them because of the power outage and downed phone lines. One in particular – Nate – was on the phone with his fiancée and three children when the water started to seep, then gush, into their home. This was Monday. The line went dead as he begged them to press towels under the door to stop the flow of water. He hasn’t talked to them since. It broke my heart.
I remember the turmoil that we faced in 2004 when my mother was in Jamaica spending time with her mother, and Hurricane Ivan wreaked havoc on the islands of Barbados, St. Vincent and Grenada. It spared Jamaica its full fury, but it still destroyed homes and infrastructures and killed at least 16 people.
We were unable to reach my mom for two days. It was the longest two days of my life, but she made it home to her husband, two children and six grandchildren – not like the mother who begged her husband to just let her go so he could save her children. He doesn’t know if she made it or not.
In light of the tragedy in New Orleans, a co-worker vowed to mend a relationship with his estranged father of more than 30 years who made it safely out of the city. And others have just vowed to reconnect with estranged family members or friends. Sometimes it takes destruction of this magnitude to make miracles happen.
The earthquake in Haiti has been estimated to be 10 times more devastating than Hurricane Katrina. But that allows for 10 times the blessings to flow from such a tragic situation.
The show will be traveling to Haiti today and will broadcast from Port-au-Prince tomorrow morning (Friday, Jan. 15th). Tom’s goal is to set up a communication center that would allow the Haitian community to contact their loved ones in the states and abroad to give them some assurances that they are okay.
My thoughts and prayers are continuously with the millions who could have so easily been you or I, and I can’t help but wonder how those who have been dealt such devastation can ever rest easy again. I’m not sure how any of us can.
It is time to go about the business of healing and rebuilding, not only at home but globally. And not just for the immediate, but long term.
We are our brother’s keeper, but we haven’t been taking very good care of each other.
Time after time we get reminders that we should not wait until a tragedy strikes to realize who’s important to us and why. If you’re blessed enough to be in reach of someone you love, let them know today. But it’s also time to start treating the world as family.
There may not be much that you can do to help in Haiti – even though I would stress that every little bit counts – but there are some situations in your own community, block and home that need help.
What change can you make today?
I challenge you to start an earthquake of your own. A good deed done today will send aftershocks for a long time to come.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30