Today I am sitting in the comfort of my air-conditioned office sipping on an over-priced latte and pushing papers on my desk, not stopping to think how my world could be turned upside down in mere moments.
Seven years ago today, the country and the world was rocked by the savage destruction of three buildings, numerous aircraft, and countless lives as innocent people were killed and their families and friends had their lives irrevocably altered.
I watched along with the rest of the world, mesmerized by the sheer immensity of the tragedy, but galvanized by the insuperable power of individuals, not governments, who rallied and joined in to offer assistance, whether physical, emotional, spiritual, or economic.
It is the one redeeming aspect of tragedy, that it allows us to put a face on the anonymity of the human condition. We too easily shy away from the day to day tragedy that surrounds us, often out of a sense of powerlessness, yet the epic nature of the immensely tragic creates heroes.
Not even seven days ago, the imposing forces of nature swept through a Caribbean already pummeled by Gustav, and finished off the job of destruction with Ike. The nameless faces of the victims are played and replayed over and over again on the news, alternating the human destruction with the topographical.
Seven hours from now, the Texas coast will be added to the tapestry of destruction.
I encourage my readers to give to the multitude of social services that transcend lipstick jokes and political barbs and rise to the occasion of the real human condition: Charity. Love. Brotherhood.
Catholic Relief Services would welcome your contributions. If you want to send a more direct form of help, the kind that is more personalized, you can send aid directly to my uncle, pictured here on the left, for immediate relief to his community in Holguin, Cuba.
The good Marist brothers and alumni of the Marist run school in Santa Clara, Cuba have made a call for donations that will go directly to aid that community. I encourage you to support their cause:
MARISTANET Santa Clara Foundation
c/o Carlos Villanueva11281 NW 59th Terrace
Miami, Fl 33178