I have a confession to make—
I’m at a loss—
A complete, honest-to-goodness, in-a-good-kind-of-way loss—cause I have no idea—no earthly idea (in a world where sometimes bad things happen to good people) how to thank those of you who reached out and supported Haiti yesterday. Whether you yourself posted about the earthquake that leveled Port-au-Prince a year ago, commented on my blog, or simply read any other Haiti post, whether you’re reading for the first time today or for the twenty-seventh, I thank you.
Whoever you are, where ever you are, if you are reading this, you are, at least indirectly, supporting the recovery effort in Haiti. And, good God, please know how grateful I am for that—so truly thankful for your caring, your sharing, your giving voice to the voiceless!
I’m one of those people who believe writing has the ability to make a difference in the world. In fact, I created a program called “Writers without Borders” that took a group of university writing students to India, where we completed a service learning project with Habitat for Humanity. We spent two weeks in the slums of New Delhi this past May, interviewing families and creating promotional material that Habitat India could use on its website. We wrote feature articles, photo essays, even created an audio slide show. It was a profound experience for all of us, but more importantly it was an opportunity to realize how writing, in very practical ways, can make the world a better place. It was an opportunity to be that difference.
As someone who teaches composition, I believe it’s important to emphasize to students (and by extension to all of us who write), that good writing amounts to more than style, that quality writing can also be a matter of conscience, that we, as writers, are obligated to use our gifts wisely and sometimes that means using words to benefit others, to speak for those who are otherwise silent.
Given this, I’d remind those of you who blogged for Haiti yesterday, and all of you who write for any reason, that words have power—power to change the world—power to make Port-au-Prince a better place—power to make a difference in your home town, on the street where you live.
I don’t know exactly what we as bloggers can do for Haiti, how concretely we could organize to make the world a better place, but I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do any of you have ideas, dreams, strategies?
Alone, I am only one voice, but together we’re a chorus capable of greatness.