This blogger took time out of her busy Parisian schedule to write a little about giving.
Lost in Cheeseland
Growing up in Pennsylvania and living in France are quite similar in certain ways. What immediately comes to mind is the fact that both are relatively free of weather risk – earthquakes are unheard of, tornadoes are rare (though possible in rural PA), hurricanes pass over us leaving in their wake only gray skies and torrential rain, and tsunamis are… well, the word doesn’t really make it into our vocabulary very often. I grew up with occasional blizzards and minor flooding in the Philadelphia region and am exposed to even less in Paris.
I may bemoan the sun’s absence for most of the year but I have thus far been fortunate enough to be spared from the realities of natural disasters. Lucky as I may be, I nonetheless feel the terror and sadness each time the media rebroadcasts footage from the earthquakes in Haiti and Japan followed by the tsunami, the monsoon in Pakistan that left 14 million lives changed forever, and, most recently, the tornadoes (all 165 of them in 24 hours) that ripped through the American South. Disasters I used to think, as a kid, were merely Hollywood creations for the big screen are in fact the reality for so many around the world.
And so I give. I donate what I can afford in the hopes that my small contribution will become part of a larger initiative to imrpove the lives of those affected; so the powerless may return to some level of normalcy. But through this, I’ve also realized that giving implies far more than financial donations.