My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I wake up in the morning torn between the desire
to save the world and to enjoy the world.
This makes it hard to plan the day.
~E.B. White

I think most of us are aware that there's tremendous suffering inflicted upon and borne by so many of our fellow sentient beings, every day, all over the world. Some of the links in the columns to the left are to web sites that address much of this suffering. But when it comes to blogging about it, I generally follow the lead of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who said...

However much concerned I was
at the problem of misery in the world,
I never let myself get lost in broodings over it.
I always held firmly to the thought that each one of us
can do a little to bring some portion of it to an end.

I do hope my blog provides its millions of readers* an occasional laugh (*like just then, when you read "millions of readers!"), or nugget of knowledge, or something to think about or feel inspired by, or just a quiet little moment of peace or beauty every now and then. Because in spite of all the tragedy out there, we're really in deep trouble if we lose our senses of hope and humor, or the empowering knowledge that we can and do make a positive difference every day, in every compassionate choice we make and every mindful action we take.

I had one of my usual "fluff pieces" all ready (finally) to post early this morning when I saw the headlines about the earthquake in Haiti, and my finger hovered over the "publish" button for a while as I pondered whether to post it. In the end, I decided to post this instead, to acknowledge the anguish and devastation being experienced right now by our fellow beings, on a scale I don't even have the power to imagine, in sorrowing, struggling Haiti. If one of the things you want to do to help bring some portion of this particular misery to an end is to make a donation, I've posted some information below that you might find helpful. But first, here's a little beam of light, love and solace for the all the victims of Haiti's earthquake, and all who are frightened or grieving for them...

Charity Navigator's Help the Victims of Haiti's Earthquake provides a list of top-rated charities responding to the disaster, along with tips for giving in times of crisis and protecting yourself from scams.

Humane Charity Seal lists health/medical charities that don't fund testing on animals. Because there's no sense contributing to suffering when you're trying to alleviate it.

IFAW is one charity that will be providing aid to Haiti's non-human animal survivors in the days ahead.

Render help and kindness, wherever it is needed,
to all life, great or small.
Suffering has no boundaries, neither should compassion.
~Holy Lance

Whatever you may decide to do... make a donation, say a prayer, light a candle, learn more about the devastating effects of Haiti's crushing poverty or the suffering of her animals, or just take a moment to feel gratitude for your own magical life (even with its problems), remember...

Nobody made a greater mistake
than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.
~Edmund Burke

I now have a horse whinnying at me for his supper, and a deer pressing his nose to the patio door, so I'll resume my regularly scheduled light-hearted programming soon.


  1. What a beautiful post, Laurie. I work with someone that grew up in Haiti and it's so sad how people there live. Having this happen on top of all of that is just so horrible for them. :(

  2. Thank you, Molly. I'm sure this is a difficult time for your co-worker, especially if they still have friends or family there. And it does seem that too often it's the poorest and the most vulnerable who are repeatedly pummelled and can't catch a break.

  3. Thank you for this beautiful post; I couldn't have said it better. Tears welled up when I saw pictures of the victims. What horror. I was there for the 6.9 earthquake in San Francisco back in 1989 and it was scary stuff. We were blessed to be out of harm's way.

    My prayers goes out to the Haitian. It's also a good reminder for us to be prepared also. These things always come when least expected.

  4. is my personal fave charity.

    bless your heart, dear gal. and happy belated, sorry i missed it!



  5. VW - you're welcome and thank you. :-) Having never been through an earthquake I can only imagine it must be one of the most frightening experiences one can have. I'm sure glad you came through the '89 unscathed, and imagine you can empathize better than most with the horrifying experience in Haiti.

    Taza - thanks for stopping by, it's been a long time! I hope you've been doing well.

    Your comment obliges me to express why I don't share your favored view of Mercy Corps. Though I understand they do some great things and their crisis aid will be invaluable to Haiti's earthquake victims, unfortunately, "Mercy Corps believes in teaching people to fish, plant gardens and raise livestock for their household needs." While I can get behind the "planting gardens" part, we choose to support humanitarian organizations who, in times of crisis and in their day-to-day mission, help the poor and hungry in healthy, compassionate, environmentally friendly ways that don't promote the commodification, use and slaughter of non-human animals, such as Food for Life Global. (Although mainly about Heifer Int'l, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's post Don't Give a Cow speaks eloquently to this topic and provides additional organizations that help the world's hungry and impoverished - to lift a line from her post - "in such a way that benefits everyone and that doesn’t exploit anyone.")

    Thank you for your birthday wishes, sorry you didn't make my party either but I see no reason the celebration can't go on all month! :-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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