Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Beyond Food and Shelter

Two events this week remind that there is more to life than having a home and enough to eat. As important as they are to one’s physical well being, they don’t do much for the survival of one’s spirit. The earthquake in Haiti and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans were devastating, killing hundreds of thousands of people.

The evening news reported a concert this week by the Haitian Youth Orchestra. Out of eighty members, only fifteen played. The others were homeless or dead. And yet when they played in one of the tent cities of the homeless, the audience remembered how good it felt to smile, and they dance. Because of music.

Five years after its devastation, New Orleans is celebrating the first Super Bowl win of its historically hapless Saints. What was thought unimaginable has become reality, and the despair that New Orleans felt over rebuilding has became hope. Because of playing a game.

Humans do not need music or sports to survive, but they need such things in order to flourish. They need mountains, oceans, and forests to inspire them. Life is about feeling joy, love, hope, and excitement. As Zorba the Greek said, not to enjoy good wine and love, if they are here, is an act against God’s creation.

For those who have food and shelter, remember to sing and dance, or live as one of the dead.