How much pain has quaked your soul?

I am lucky to have a roof over my head. I cannot begin to comprehend the horror facing those who survived the earthquake in Haiti. It must be something akin to hell on earth.

Broken limbs. Broken bodies. A breakdown of social order. Chaos and desperation in the ruins. Can you imagine trying to pick up the pieces in a city cloaked in death and destruction? Can you imagine trying to forage for food when the smell of rotting flesh permeates everything? According to news reports, people have started painting strips of toothpaste between their noses and mouths to try to mask the odour as they breathe.

But hope remains. At work last night, we covered a story about a Haitian man who was pulled from the rubble two weeks after the virtual levelling of the city. He had a crushed leg and several other injuries, but he was alive. He had held on in the darkness, clinging to the belief that rescuers would find him. Now he faces a long and difficult road to recovery.

Humanitarian aid continues to pour in from around the world and everywhere I look, people are rallying to raise money for the reconstruction of the island. My best friend and I had a discussion about this earlier today… What compels us to try to help strangers in a foreign land and yet look the other way when confronted by the beggar outside the local supermarket?

Are the victims of natural disasters more deserving of assistance than the victims of circumstance standing at the traffic lights with pleas written on cardboard?

Charity doesn’t have to start when the earth moves. A simple act of kindness can go a long way towards improving the life of another – near or far.

The title of this post is borrowed from the lyrics of I Belong To You by Muse. Find the song on


4 thoughts on “How much pain has quaked your soul?

  1. Ok…..I hope I have not offended with the Africa comment….as I see you are from South Africa. I was merely stating a type of donation program I know some people participate in…which I have participated in too. I did not mean anything bad by it…just wanted to apologize if my choice of words causes offense. Thanks and peace to you!


  2. wow…poignant…and a good idea to think about. My mom always would use the quote “charity begins at home.” If we would all help those nearest to us, a lot of lives could be changed…but I do also think that there are places in the world so much less fortunate than we are here, and that help must be spread around. But I think that focusing on somewhere far away might seem even glamorous to some….I am helping a child in Africa….when helping the gentleman on the exit ramp lets me see a human face receive my gift.


    1. Hi AnnaBeth, thanks for visiting. My mom also used that phrase – often – and I am teaching it to my little girl as well. I agree with you about the “human face” element… My husband and I sponsor two Aids orphans in Johannesburg and although we’ve never met them face to face, we receive monthly updates on their progress and chat often. It warms the heart when you can appreciate the difference you are making in somebody’s life, however small.


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