Tuesday, April 28, 2015

When Prayers Are Not Enough

In grief, and in tragedy, we first remember our maker for sparing our lives. It is human instinct drawn from a time, history no longer recalls: to seek higher power for solace and consolation; to carry on the painful task of picking up the pieces of broken lives. For those whose eyes and ears only see and hear the catastrophe, we offer prayers as expressions of sympathy. That no matter how difficult the days ahead, someone remembers, and wishes relief for the burdened.

But relief comes in more tangible forms. Like thick blankets and clean water, like life-saving medicines and warm meals to feed the starving. Given the scale of the calamity - the temblor that struck the entire country of Nepal a few days ago, the poor nation of over a million souls is unready to cope with the disaster.   

As the dead begins to pile up, the international community makes a hasty entry. Countries far and wide* sent rescue teams and makeshift hospitals in a race to save lives. News agencies report the events on the ground, and while social media continue to broadcast words of solidarity, these are the times when words, including prayers are not enough.

It is time for ordinary people to step up.

The wake up call was sounded by a skeptic, an old friend I haven't seen in ages. He questions mankind's priorities with its hashtag #prayfornepal when there are ways to really help. While my worries linger closer to home, (the great destructive "twerk" might flatten the city any moment soon) I was struck by his observation, and in my own way, sought to play my part in the relief efforts to save as much lives as possible. 

When online companies like Paypal invoke corporate responsibility as their new marketing strategy, I took some time off from the raketship, despite the looming deadline, to make some donations to organizations that deliver aid. Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, World Vision, just to name a few, I have come across these names and thought to divide the cashless payment so as to spread out my pledge. While this gesture won't be known to many, aside from those who would come across this entry. I simply found it fitting to perform the act of charity before letting everyone know in my social media accounts that there's a way to render aid, not just with prayers but with real, hard cash.

I think my maker, which I seldom speak to lately, would be more pleased with this arrangement.

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