Monday, May 23, 2011

To help Joplin, to help the World.

Devastation. Destruction. Desolation. I live just about an hour from Joplin, where a tornado ripped apart a hospital last night and left over a hundred dead, and those three D’s are all any of us are talking about right now. It’s hard to watch the videos of the city, a third of which has been destroyed, and remember what it was like before the tragedy hit. I have friends there. I used to do jobs there. I made deliveries to the part of the hospital that doesn’t exist anymore. It’s unfathomable that, in just a few minutes, this much terror can strike.

Of course, it does all the time, and our initial reaction is to be shocked, or sad, or scared. But we who are creative have a responsibility that should spur us beyond those initial feelings of helplessness. When a creator sees destruction, their thoughts should logically ask a question. What can I build with the broken pieces?

It’s like when you are a kid, and you made that awesome castle with your legos, then your big brother came along and broke it. You cried for a little, maybe ran to mom, but eventually you were inspired to make something else, bigger, and better.

We as creative artists have a gift, and tragedy provides us with an opportunity. We can create in our mediums to give voice to the victims. Whether we are songwriters or poets, painters or photographers, we can help those who are hurting overcome their trauma. We can lift them up on our creative shoulders and help them remember how to cry, how to mourn, how to grieve. And, we can remind them how to hope, how to overcome, and how to believe.

So, I challenge you, use your gifts to help those in need. Write a poem, or a song, paint a picture, create a dance. Whatever it is that you do, do it now to help others.

Out of the ashes we can help our brothers rise in triumph.

And, if you'd like to help a great group that is on the scene, providing food and water to the victims, go check out convoy of hope, or text CONVOY to 50555

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