Who amongst us believe the task of ameliorating the living conditions of more than 8 million people in Haiti is an easy task? I am simply tired of hearing how complex and difficult the problems of Haiti are. If they were easy, I am sure that we would have solved them already. The simple fact that almost every Haitian or friends of Haiti that I have encountered acknowledge that it is indeed a herculean task to get Haiti on the path of prosperity and acceptable human conditions, leave me with only one conclusion that we must be willing to give an enormous effort.
This past weekend, I attended the Haitian Studies Association conference at Indiana University. The theme of the conference New Ecologies: Actualizing Global Contributions and Development in Haiti. Just like any other Haitian conference the title alone would make you think it’s an event not to be missed. For two days, I was surrounded by Haitian intellectuals and young and upcoming scholars. It was a sight indeed that one should not have missed. As a hopeful Haitian, at the conference I became even more hopeful of the future of Haiti.
It is becoming clearer to me that we have people who want to go beyond the rhetorical issues and tackle the problems head-on. The problem remains that too many people who could serve as guide are either too pessimistic or too satisfied with their own lives to even consider contributing to that enormous effort.
Why a scholar would spend so much time digging for information if they are not even willing to participate in the interpretation of such data. Why do we even talk of the issues, if all we have to offer at the end is the same old explanation of how difficult the task at hand is?
At the conference, one thing that became clear to me is the trait that one has when they want to do more than the bare minimum, and those who simply can not comprehend why anyone would decide to engage in this enormous effort to bring tangible solutions to a country in perish.
We are the masters at reacting and mediocre at acting. At this moment, Haiti needs actors. We need people to act to bring decent education to the youth, actors in the entrepreneurial field, actors in the health field, civism, agriculture, tourism, and so much more. We need to challenge the status quo and become unafraid of the unknown.
We are entering the realm of living uncomfortably so that others could have a chance at getting comfortable. It is an opportunity to meet one of our purposes in this world, which is to do no harm and try to leave this place better than we have found it. Those things are better said than done, but the moment we become true to our inner-self, it should not be an issue to get involved.
A child suffering in Haiti due to lack of clean potable water, or inadequate nutrition should be of concern to any human being, but more so to fellow Haitians. Each time we enter a fancy restaurant and order a delicious meal, we should always have those children in our mind. I understand we must live life, but that does not give us a free pass to not try to contribute in this enormous endeavor, especially when we have the knowledge.
It is one thing to lecture about the difficulty of getting involved in Haiti, but it is a completely different thing to actually get engaged. Those who have knowledge control the direction of the world. People who are unwilling to act would want us to believe that it is money that controls our life, but in essence it is knowledge. It is no coincidence that the wealthier countries happen to be seen as the most knowledgeable countries also. This direct relationship of wealth and knowledge is undeniably the most important relationship in life. If you have knowledge, you have the potential to become wealthy, and with wealth, one has a much greater chance at living a decent life.
I have come to accept that it would require my all to make a difference for my brothers and sisters at home. I am satisfied in getting involved to the end. I am ready to undertake this journey, which requires for us to give our maximum effort at all time. I am convinced that it will take a collectivity of small effort together, in order for us to see the enormity of our impact. It is not a matter of one person does it all, but rather everyone doing their own little part. Those small efforts together, when organized and coordinated have as much energy as an atomic bomb.
I am not a subscriber of the difficulty or complex cult. I simply happen to believe that no one has ever exceeded expectations, but only to have set the bar too low. It is time that we raise our expectations of ourselves. It is the moment that we act as if there is no tomorrow. Indeed, it is the hour of putting forth an enormous effort in order to bring Haiti and Haitians to a common destiny.