“Please Come To My City, We Need You, We Need Help” cried Jose Aguinaldo this morning as I watched the News. His cry haunted me all the way to work and is etched in my mind. I watched a man probably in his 50s reduced to tears asking for help for his city, himself and all the victims of typhoon Haiyan which hit the Philippines. I cried.
We live in a world that is desensitised to disasters purely because of the constant onslaught of devastation in the world. The truth is it is probably going to get worse as the years roll by. However we can change something – our reaction to suffering.
I cried this morning as I watched this man. However, very swiftly, I realised the futility of tears in such a situation. Tears were not going to get food across to the millions of victims. I knew if I did not get over being sentimental and do something, I would go ahead with my day and all that would have happened is that I was upset by what I saw. Simply another sad day.
I started to think; what can I do, what can I do? Bake sale? Get all the bakers in Cambridge to bake and donate proceeds ? All very good ideas but I find that sometimes we get bogged down with big ideas and never get to do anything. Sometimes,
what the world needs is not a big idea but more people doing the simple little things.
If all of us in the United Kingdom donated £1, that would be £63.7m going to the relief. The reality is that many of us can do more that £1. We can give more. We can do more. Some of us can volunteer time or even go to the Philippines to help out. Others can use their influence to raise awareness. There is always something we can do if we choose not to turn away from another human being in distress. We’ve got to challenge ourselves to resist the temptation to be desensitised to the suffering around us; even when we ourselves are in need- there is always something we can do.
I discovered a list of agencies I could donate to published by the Guardian. 14 British aid agencies have launched a joint emergency appeal to get food, water and shelter to victims of the typhoon. You can donate directly to the The Disasters Emergency Committee.
Give a little. And If you can do more, do more! Please don’t sit and watch the world hurt around you.
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? (Isaiah 58:7 NIV)