Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On Being Human

I go by many names.

One of those names--my "professional" name if you will--is Rebecca.

Because my firm likes to pretend they are Noah's Ark, there are lots of pairs (or even more sets) of people with the same names working there. This is how I met a girl named Rebecca at work.

She and I hit it off quite well. We had a lot in common.

She is the oldest of six kids.
I am the oldest of six kids.

I am from the far north.
She is from the tropics.

We have a similar sense of "down to earthiness" and a low tolerance for the shit the office Hens will cluck about.

In the winter she would whine about snow and ice while I laughed at her.
In the summer I would whine about heat and humidity while she laughed at me.

Rebecca doesn't work at my firm anymore--she went back to school to do something with her life! But she and I still keep in touch.

A closeup of the mini-snow shovel I gave Rebecca as a going away present. She went to school in Cleveland where there exists the dreaded phrase: "lake effect snow." I figured she'd need something to dig out with!

I immediately though of her when I was driving to work today and I heard for the first time about the Haitian earthquake. When I said she hails from the tropics--she hails from Haiti specifically.

Things are pretty rough for Rebecca right now. They haven't been able to contact their family still living on the island.

I'm not a praying or a religious woman, but my heart goes out to Rebecca.

I grew up with memories of earthquakes--each time they hit the thought crosses your mind "Is this the big one?"

I grew up with physical reminders of the catastrophic quake of 1964. I don't ever want to imagine what it must be like to be Rebecca right now when it could very well could be me in her stylish shoes (we also share similar shoe-taste!) because about 90% of Everyone's Favorite Blog Family and Blog Family In Law still lives up in Alaska.

Now I'm not asking you to band together as Knitters and donate to my Charity that is not the Motorcycle Safety Foundation because well, golly, you're a knitter...and it's our moral duty to band together and help out for the common good!!!


It's our moral duty as HUMANS. Not chicks and dudes who dig looping some string together with a pair of sticks.

Let's be real.

I don't care how much or if you donate or not--because seriously, times are tough and sometimes you have to concentrate on getting the oxygen mask on yourself before you can help others.

Quite honestly, I think the Haitians would be happy to get your donation when you've got some money to spare six, twelve or even years from now when the world has forgotten about this disaster of epic proportions and it's nothing more than a blurb of a news story every January 12th from hereon out.

So donate if you want--I donated $6.23 (my birthday), because quite honestly, until September rolls around, we're living paycheck to paycheck--or at least send a happy vibe to Haiti.

Not because you're a knitter.

Because you're human.

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Blogger Ellie said...

S#it. You're karmically kicking my ass right now, but in a good way. Being human means needing a healthy dose of perspective, and your post gave me that just now - things could be better, but they sure as hell could be worse, too. My thoughts are with your friend, and with everyone else. Damn.

(From one girl who goes by a different name professionally. Seriously.)

8:44 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Please keep us updated on your friend and her family.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I agree - that was a very thought provoking post. I hope your friend's family is OK.

And, not to make light of a serious blog post, but of course as a Clevelander, the mention of lake effect snow made me laugh! I live about a block from the lake so I (unfortunately) know all about that. When the snow aggravates me (which it usually does), hearing about the earthquakes, floods, mudslides, and hurricanes that other parts of the country/world have to deal with makes the snow seem not so bad.

9:05 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Great post!

9:50 PM  
Blogger Coco, not as in Chanel :) said...

If people would look beyond their own needs, this entire world would be in a much better state of being.

Being a praying women, I have been saying many a prayer for those in our own country who suffer every day and it goes completely unrecognized. Those who never get any type of assistance because no one gives a rip. No we are not considered a 3rd world country, but give us a few years. We are heading that way. The writing is on the wall. There is a lot to be said about taking care of your own first (and I am not talking about socialized govt, etc.), because really, if we do not give a rat's butt about our own, we will never give 1/2 a rat's butt about others. Just saying...It's a cold hard fact.

But yes, those in horrible situations around the world need our help, if we were not such a selfish bunch of ingrates...for the most part. Goes back to the paragraph that I just wrote above.

I sincerely hope your friend can get in touch w/ her family. That is so scary, and my prayers go out to her specifically right now.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

I hope Rebecca's family turns out to be ok. I hope Haiti gets all the help they need quickly. Scary stuff.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

The devastation in Haiti is heart breaking. I can't imagine not knowing if my family was alive or not. How terrible for your friend (and for hundreds of others). We are so blessed. And, yes, we should help, not because of our 'hobby' but because we are people. (I read that blog entry, too)

7:14 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thank you for the great reminder that we really do need to be looking out for each other - not as a nation (President Obama has pledged $10 mil), but as people, helping people. If we all give our birthday's worth of aid, it would add up to a lot.

Speaking of birthday, yours is the same day as my son's, who will be twenty-four this year ;).

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Girl! I have been crying my eyes out on every news report. What these people need is CASH to get the big equipment, food, water and shelter. It is not so much the damage as the no place to put the dead, no running CLEAN water, no place for human excrement.

We saw this last spring when the village of Eagle was flooded by an ice jam. The flood took out the whole village and everyone sent clothes, furniture, and food. It was thoughtful but they ahd no place to put these items. they ended up in a warehouse in Anchorage while the Red Cross and others tried to get their homes rebuilt.

Keep us informed on Rebecca's family.

Love, Mom

8:38 AM  
Blogger Ina said...

I hope your friend gets news soon and that it's good news. Not knowing is the worst.

12:51 PM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

Well said. *golf clap*

5:09 PM  
Blogger April said...

well said. And as a praying woman, I'll be praying for Rebecca and her family.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo! Keep us posted on your friend & her family.

Love, Aunt Susan

8:12 PM  
Blogger Crafty Christina said...

Well said! I'll be helping as soon as I get paid tomorrow.

Please keep us updated on Rebecca.

8:24 PM  
Blogger DPUTiger said...

Yesterday, I made a relatively small fabric purchase and decided to match that amount in a donation to a charity that is helping in Haiti. Yes it's that one, but I picked it mostly because they're already on the ground and have a long history of good work. My husband works in fundraising, so I am frequently reminded that "lots of little" donations add up very quickly.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Cindy in Happy Valley said...

Somehow I thought they called you "Bezzie" at work......


12:56 PM  

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