One of my greatest peeves is when people leverage human suffering to score political points. Well, it's more than a peeve. I find it nauseating, inappropriate, tasteless, grossly lacking in compassion and well, tacky. I also find it sadly and heartbreakingly human.
When tragedy struck Virginia Tech, both the pro-gun and anti-gun lobbies had their say within hours. Over the last two days, I've heard griping against Pat Robertson (seriously, the man is and always has been a ridiculous douche, so why give him any more of our attention?), the bottled water industry, building codes, the Obama administration, and more. In the face of unimaginable human suffering, the first instinct is to make sense of it all, find fault with someone or something, put it all in a box and move on. I'm human too, and I understand the desire to want someone to blame.
Meanwhile, the people of Port-au-Prince are digging their dead children out of the rubble with their bare hands. Now is not the time to score points. Now is the time to rise above our first instincts, abandon our anger, and help.
My wish is simple. Every time you feel like taking a swipe, taking a stand, climbing a soapbox or mindlessly bitching, get out your phone. Text the word, "HAITI" to 90999. That sends $10 to the Red Cross and will automatically be added to your next cellphone bill. Think of it as a swear jar that actually does some good.
Every little bit helps, no petty indignation required. Please, I pray of you, think about it.
Postscript: According to the Red Cross' blog, they've already raised $3 million dollars, one $10 text message at a time.