Privilege, poverty, and power

A rather hefty post title followed by some quick thoughts:
Monday afternoon, the power went out on Bainbridge. It stayed off through the evening so we ate dinner by the waning light and hand-washed the dishes by candlelight.

When the power’s out, one becomes very aware of the natural world–both the cause of the outage, and the main source of light until nightfall. Because the house had been gradually cooling down over the course of 10 hours, the kids and I doubled up–K and S in K’s bed and A and me in mine, to keep each other warm. A said it felt like camping–brushing teeth in the dark, snuggling up together listening to the wind. He begged me to plan a camping trip soon.

As a counterpoint to our brief time sans electricity, here are some things B’s seeing in Haiti, where a lot of people are getting A’s wish for camping.

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3 thoughts on “Privilege, poverty, and power

  1. I had very similar thoughts during the outage. Every time I was tempted to mentally complain about the situation, my mind was immediately flooded with thoughts of how much worse it could be – IS – for so many others in the world.

    I was thankful for the opportunity that the outage afforded us to count blessings that we may have otherwise taken for granted: our mild, sunny weather; a stash of flashlights, candles & lanterns; a warm, safe home to snuggle in; a working cell phone (and a car full of gas in case I needed to charge my phone’s battery). Most of all, the sure knowledge that this was completely temporary. It makes me ache for the people throughout the world for whom deprivation has become their norm.

  2. I feel like a putz wimping out and getting a hotel room, but man it was nice.
    I am so glad that Blaine is in Haiti. It must feel so nice to be able to “do” something real and tangible for them. Bless you him and bless you for sticking it out at home on your own. xo

  3. Hi Brooke,
    The kids kept coming up with scenarios and asking me “What would you do if the power stayed off for 30 days?” Invariably, my response was some elaboration on the theme of “I’d find a new normal.” People are amazingly adaptable. Though I’m not a uncomplaining saint–I was cursing all the fallen branches and limbs I had to pick up off my lawn and driveway.

    And Katie, your facebook status made me lol–good for you! Any excuse, right? Plus, a birthday boy is a *reason*, not an excuse.

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