World Humanitarian Day

Today is a day to honor the people who carry out humanitarian aid around the world, and to remember those who have lost their lives in the course of saving others.

When I tell people that I work for a humanitarian organization, I always hastily add: “But I’m still a terrible person!” The fact is that I work with some of the most courageous, hard-working people on the planet, and it would be inappropriate to group myself with them. Imagine working 16-hour days, seven days a week, in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. Imagine doing that for months on end. Imagine the suffering you’d bear witness to, and the sort of resilience you’d need to stay focused in the face of tragedies global and personal.

I’m learning so much from my colleagues, and while I know none of them are in it for recognition, that’s exactly what they deserve.

PS The current floods in Pakistan are technically a “mega-disaster”. More people are affected by these floods than were affected by the Boxing Day tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and this year’s Haiti earthquake COMBINED. This is a massively under-reported disaster, and funding has been thin. Please donate if you have the means. I know times are tough for a lot of people, but even a few dollars can bring clean drinking water or emergency care to someone who desperately needs it. Thank you for considering making a donation.