Posted by: T. Argerous Filosofos | January 18, 2010

How The Events In Haiti Have Helped Me


Its a new year, a new beginning and a new start. It has been awhile since I have been here writing, It has been almost two years since my head has been screwed on straight. The catastrophe in Haiti I think has helped me to begin to see clearly again and to help myself move forward.

The past 18 months have been the worse of my life with out exception, very nasty, lingering divorce, my Father died, daughter was very ill, huge tax burden to the IRS, loss of my assets and dignity as well. I was to say the least, feeling a little depressed. Not seeing any reason to move forward with my life. Stopped doing business, seeing friends, answering the phone. I just stopped everything in my life.

I have for the last few days been watching as things unfold in Haiti. I first thought, like most people ok so there was an earthquake and how does this affect me? As I watched and saw the devastation and listened to what was going on I began to think about how selfish I had been and it stirred up a number of memories.

While I had been wallowing in perhaps my own self pity, focusing on how bad my life had become and waiting for someone to help me, I realized that my problems were nothing compared to those who were struggling to stay alive.

When Hurricane Andrew struck back in 1992 I was one on the first to visit Homestead. I was Operations Manager for the City of North Miami Beach at the time and the day after the storm was asked to take a team and a number of supplies and to go to Homestead to see if we could help. I was told that no one was able to contact anyone in the city or county govt there. Part of my “mission” was to find them, ask them what they needed and report to my City manager. That day we packed the trucks and I got a team together and we decided to leave at midnight. We got into Homestead around 4am. What normally was a 1 hr drive took us 4. ┬áCity hall was open, we went in and no one was there.

As the sun came up I was appalled at what I saw, Complete destruction as far as you could see in every direction People coming out and walking the streets still dazed. All of these things were re-triggered in my memory as I watch things unfolding in Haiti. Although I believe Haiti to be much worse than Andrew ever was. We were on site before most anyone else, We called the governor to ask for help. He called the President who finally sent the military in about one to two weeks after the storm.

Comments are being made on the TV about Haiti, the stench and the bodies and the overall horror. I remember the stench, dead bodies, dead animals, rotted food from homes, raw sewage, decay. It was horrible. Something that I think when you experience it -it never leaves you-It never left me. I have a sense of what they are experiencing in Haiti, only I believe it is on a much much larger scale that what I experienced. Doctors are cutting off limbs with rusted saw blades for gods sake.

So what does this have to do with me?

What I saw and experienced in Andrew, and what I see now in Haiti is the will of people to live thru horrendous times, suffering and despair. It is hard to imagine living hour to hour, we believe we are a civilized world until things like this happen and for a period we are with out the things we take for granted every day.

These people have begun to move forward with their lives, they continue to help others. They have absolutely lost everything, think about it, no id, no money, no family in many cases, no friends in some cases, all lost in a single moment. And yet they move forward, they start over, they will rebuild their lives.

And me? What the hell do I have to complain about? Yes I have gone thru some hard time lately, and it seemed like the end of the world for me but you know what, I dont have anything to complain about. I will start over and this is one of the reasons why I am connecting with you all again. I want to thank the Country and People of Haiti, for helping me realize I have absolutely nothing to complain about. I will do whatever I can to help those people in need.

They will climb out of their hole and move forward with their lives, I plan to do the same. and in time I will go to Haiti and help them rebuild. They have helped me and now they need help.

Prey for those in Haiti – do what you can to help. Think about if that happened to you and your loved ones.

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