Thursday, January 21, 2010

When the Walls Come Tumbling Down

Looking out the window of my study this afternoon I've been watching a large machine gathering rubble across the street. Rubble looks pretty much the same the world over, so I'm trying to imagine what it would look like if the entire block was reduced to rubble, or as in parts of Haiti, the entire community.
The rubble across the street is typical Arlington rubble: a perfectly functional older house torn down to make way for a new structure that will be too big for the lot and will sell from more than a million dollars.
It's taken more than a week to reduce the house to the current pile of bricks and insulation and dry wall. Earthquakes are much more efficient.
Somehow I think the rebuilding will be a lot quicker here, where there's a million dollars to be made, than in Haiti where so many of the hundreds of thousands of now homeless Haitians are among the poorest of the poor.
I watched Jim Wallis on The Daily Show last night. Noting the announcements this week of record setting bonuses on Wall Street, Wallis suggested that the recipients of those bonuses donate the money to the relief efforts in Haiti.
Wonder how likely that is. And do you suppose the walls of Wall Street would come tumbling down if they did? More pointedly, I wonder what I would do with a six- or seven-figure bonus? How much would I give away? Not a moral quandary I'm ever likely to face!
Meanwhile, we're collecting donations for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance at CPC, and creating health kits to be distributed by Church World Service.