Haiti: A Picture of Disaster and Drive

Most of you who read this will remember the Tsunami in Asia a few years ago, and closer to home, Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Both natural disasters caused us all to gasp in disbelief. How could such tragedy happen in such a densely populated area?

Sadly, tragedy has struck again. An earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale shook the foundations of the capital city of Haiti, with an aftershock that was almost as bad, at 6.1. Two hundred thousand people were killed and over 1.5 million are now displaced. It is almost unbelievable.

Yet with almost every disaster—we see the best side of humanity. Tens of thousands of ordinary people get involved—sending money and food and recovery supplies. Many of those who help actually fly down and deliver the aid in person. One church in my area mobilized over a hundred doctors, nurses and medical professionals to volunteer their time and fly down—now get this—in a government sponsored aircraft to deliver the medical supplies. Relief is on the way.

The point I wish to make is this. While I grieve with everyone over this tragedy and plan to respond myself, I am emboldened by the response I see. People who may not be motivated to walk the “second mile” for money, vacation days or some other perk, are volunteering their time and money—just because it is the right thing to do. There is something inside of us humans that responds better, and we become more motivated by a need or a “cause” like this than all the financial bonuses or salary incentives a boss can muster.

And what we find in this response in Haiti is remarkable. This is no easy task. Survivors are pulled from collapsed buildings. Single doctors treat thousands in makeshift, open-air clinics. Orphans sing praises to the Lord while waiting patiently to be rescued. The resilience of human beings, proves there is some God-given motivation inside of all of us. Author, Daniel Pink, says that people have been motivated by different means over the years. He defines these motivations this way:

Motivation 1.0 is about survival

Motivation 2.0 is about rewards and punishment

Motivation 3.0 is about purpose

Right now in Haiti, Motivation 1.0 and 3.0 are taking place. The Haitian people are motivated to survive this tragedy. They are showing amazing resiliency. Those who come to help are motivated by a sense of purpose bigger than themselves. I love this reality about human beings. The best really does come out in the worst of situations.

Let me ask you a question. What motivation is behind most of your behavior today?


Haiti: A Picture of Disaster and Drive