One of my hallmarks of being on vacation is to be completely disconnected from TV, news, Internet, email, and phone. This time, though, the news was so big that it found me.
And I couldn’t ignore it like I usually do on vacation. I further broke tradition and was moved to go online now to donate money to the earthquake relief efforts for our brothers and sisters in Haiti. While I’m here, I also wanted to write about the extreme irony of where I sit as I send my money.
We’re sailing the Caribbean on a mega cruise ship where glitz and glamour abound. Most of us onboard weren’t even aware of the massive destruction unfolding in Haiti and continued partying on and enjoying gourmet cuisine, fancy martinis, and live jazz.
I was particularly struck by the moment I learned of the news later the following day. I had purchased a half-day pass to an elite section of the ship called The Sanctuary, an adults-only “pocket of tranquility” they call it. Here, you get your own reserved comfy chaise lounge, similar to a cloud on wheels. Cleverly named “Serenity Stewards” are on-call to cater to your needs (including the menu item titled “Evian Water Mist” for your face!). Really, this place is a brilliant little piece of heaven.
So as I sipped my fruit smoothie upon learning the news, I laid there a while longer trying to imagine the stark contrast of an island just a short distance from where I was. And then I had to get up and leave The Sanctuary because, well, it just didn’t feel right to lay there any longer.
I’m observing all of us here on the ship extra keenly today; where elegance and opulence are a way of life. Don’t get me wrong–I love this experience! And I thoroughly enjoy the extra indulgence and nurturing pampering. But I’m taking a break this afternoon to give my money somewhere it’s needed more.
Maybe you saw my recent post about the importance of “community” and how essential it is that we are here for each other? I hope you’ll check it out and donate in the way that you can, too.
Wishing all of us peace in the world and a spirit of compassionate giving.