Tag Archive: Haiti


What is Money

It’s the root of all evil

It pays the bills,

It may heal your ills

And bring you thrills.

According to Wikipedia, money is anything that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts. For everyone, we interpret and treat money differently. Whether it is the abundance of wealth or the lack thereof there is a certain level of importance which we all seem to place on the precious commodity. From the Forbes list to the United Nations Poorest Countries list we seem to rank everything from those who do not have it to those who have it and may waste it. We live in a world where it seems to have a voice you should have cash to care.

If you grew up in an environment where everything is lavish, fabulous and expensive, you will view money differently from those who did not. It is highly probable that when you enter a certain level of wealth your expenses tend to be higher than others. It is true because you have to keep up with the lifestyle you live. One at this rank does not imagine the day when they will have nothing. Therefore, they will invest in portfolios, real estate and make other investments to maintain their wealth. The responsibilities that come with the lifestyle are also important. Case in point – Casey Johnson. Who knew someone could be kicked to the curb from a family who seemed to have everything? It seems more and more families with a vast amount of wealth are throwing out those family members who could appear to put the family’s wealth in jeopardy. Those who are rich sometimes are forced to continue that legacy to maintain their stature. On the contrary, persons who are rich can mismanage their wealth and become poor. Fantasia, the American Idol winner recently on Oprah opened up about her fall from grace. After buying her home and settling in, she had problems keep it. Her home fell into foreclosure and at one point she was unable to buy a pizza, her card failed. Money can be easy come and easy go. It takes proper financial management and financial sense to keep it.

For those who grew up in a poor background, they understand the importance of money. For many, money is the way out of poverty and they will place all their focus on avenues that could get them out of that state. Whether it is a talent, education or an illegal activity, poor people in the right environment can charter a new course out of poverty. We have seen numerous stories of people who did not have it but with the right attitude and approach they were able to live a better life. Oprah, Jay Z, and Hilary Swank just to name a few have gone from the lowest echelon to some of the richest people in our world.

However, people who are poor see money differently. People who are poor or who are in destitute positions do not see the importance of saving for the future and having investment accounts. Give someone who is poor a bank card with funds that could keep them for a month and see how fast that money goes. They tend to see money as short term, so they spend it to make them content in the moment. While there are others that if you give them the same amount they wouldn’t spend most of it because they understand the position they are in and have an idea of where they would like to be.

Money today is perceived based on cultural attitudes as well. In our world today, young people are materialistic. We tend to focus on what is in, the latest Bling and fashions. The entertainment industry is pushing this attitude of ‘you can have it all’ and at all costs.

Money and the abundance of it can last a lifetime if we understand the basic concepts. As human beings we need to live within our means and recognize that if we spend more than we earn we will be poor. No one wants to be poor; we want to be independent, strong and able to survive. With rising standards of living and costs going up, the worst thing that could happen to us is to lack needed funds. Money can be our way out of poverty but it can also lead to our own detriment.

It is significant that we inculcate cultures where we are not so highly materialistic but we begin to inspire people that can handle wealth without ruining their lives in the pursuit of it. Sure money is good and wonderful to have but the love of it could ruin our lives.

Haiti’s Plight

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti suffered a mighty 7.0 magnitude earthquake ripping Port-Au-Prince sending shockwaves as far as the United States and Jamaica in the Caribbean. I did not feel the quake but I do feel the pain and the agony that the Haitian people must be feeling. Imagine a country with poor infrastructure, poor people, ¾ of the population unemployed, most government agencies destroyed, mass graves etc etc. That is how impoverished the Haitian people are today. Forget about the US dollars you hear they live on, when it rains in Haiti it pours causing major flooding. I am grateful that it isn’t raining there because it would have been a worse position to be in for rescue efforts. To say their lives were better would be an understatement but in 30 seconds everything changed. As one survivor puts it “it happened so fast”.

President's Palace

Before Tuesday none of us were thinking of Haiti, we may have known the grim realities there. We were busy trying to ride through our own mountains – unemployment, recession. For now, others are suffering and they need our attention. Today and for many more months and years Haiti will be seeking all the help they can get to rebuild the country they once had.

In the past days, many charity organizations and corporate entities have been furiously soliciting funds and clothing for the millions of people who have been dislocated from their homes. Jamaicans, Americans, Canadians, Russians and others around the world are playing their role in assisting the Haitians. Because of Jamaica’s proximity to Haiti it will be the last check point before all the donations arrive in Haiti from the Caribbean region.

I must say I have been addicted to the coverage of the Haitian Earthquake on CNN and online (Twitter and the various online news agencies) and I am now taking a break to pen this post. It has been a wonderful coverage from CNN. They may be low in ratings on politics in the US but they are performing excellently in bringing the latest news over there in Haiti. It was reported earlier today that the Haitian people are becoming more frustrated with relief efforts. This and many other things like looting, breakout of diseases, more of the injured dying etc can be expected as the country still without basic amenities like electricity and water supply heal from the tragic event.

We may never go to Haiti or see the place with our own eyes. I am sure you have seen the images and videos from the area as they tell a grim tale of what happened on Tuesday. As the days go by we will be bombarded with advertisements pleading to donate funds to help with the relief efforts there. You can HELP!

Tips on Helping Haiti

  1. Donate only to established agencies.
  2. Do not provide confidential information when donating funds.
  3. Be wary of scammers who are on the loose because more people are giving.
  4. Give with love and a grateful heart.

You may be wondering how you can help. I would suggest sending money. There are many text lines open to donate to the Haitian people in their darkest moment.

I texted to my local line here in Jamaica and it felt good. I received a text later saying that “To date Jamaica has raised J$2.3 million for the Haiti Relief Fund.” That is equivalent to US $25, 813.69. Oh damn. I seriously thought it would have translated higher. Oh well, there you go. Goes to show how weak my Jamaican dollar is.

I texted 'HELP'

To the Number 162

Confirmation

Further Confirmation

Go donate. You can HELP! Watch your money feed those hungry people.