Global Citizenship: Giving to Haiti
Yesterday I followed my spirit.It whispered,“Donate.” Currently I am working on project for Haiti, so without hesitation, I donated to the efforts in Haiti. I chose three non-profit organizations that I knew were on the ground directly providing resources to Haitians as they prepare for their rain and hurricane seasons.*Prior to the earthquake and for many decades, the country of Haiti was in an economic choke hold.Many have said the earthquake was a blessing in disguise for it has filtered in much needed international assistance.
My love for Haiti is largely due to it’s peoples historical triumph. I always wanted to visit the country of my courageous cousins.People who fought long and hard for their freedom, people who maintained their African dialect, people who proudly kept African traditions alive despite the negativity from ignorant individuals.These people, my people, a people who have paid a huge price for their epic past, a people who’s countries success highway has been congested by the traffic of bad government , after bad government, after bad government .Yet, the resilient people survive still.
In 1998, I spent time in the mountains of Petit-Guoave and the capital of Port au-Prince. Some of the most primitive housing in the Americas, some of the most beautiful rock beaches you will ever see, some of the most welcoming people (into their homes) I have met (reminded me of the south), some of the loudest negotiators (market) you will ever hear and some of the most beautiful array of people I have seen.My time in Haiti taught me to appreciate my life for even in my most crippling times, I always have running water, a toilet that flushes, electricity and a mall that has air conditioning (my house doesn’t but let me NOT digress).To this day, when I shower, I start the water up to wet the cloth and myself then, I turn it off until I am ready to rinse. I will never forget having to use one bucket of water that was fetched for me to shower and flush.And, I still recall bathing and sweating at the same time.A humbling experience for which I am truly grateful
So, yesterday when my spirit said,“Donate”, I did not hesitate.I donated with the same enthusiasm that I would have if I had been receiving a million dollar payment (direct deposit please, no checks).Yesterday, my donation was also a gesture of my appreciation to the people and a country that inspires me to be great. An executives’ duty is not always about the return but the relationships you create and make.It is not always about the individual gain, but contributing toglobal alignment. My definition of global alignment is the ability to recognize your universal connection and partake in a movement that positively affects humanity. Generally, this work is in a structured collective but sometimes you are working with many others who you don’t know or may never meet.
Today , I received an email from the New York Times with a headline “Michelle Obama makes a surprise visit to Haiti .” Many other spirits are whispering and aligning.
*Ms. Wahls donated to Yele, UNICEF and the Sean Penn Haiti Foundation.