It has been three months since I joined the ranks of the treadmill army. I want to make sure that I’m in shape when I’m forced to walk through the new body scanner at the airport. My routine consists of 45 minutes of pure torture and utter boredom. The machine that I use has a display that counts down the minutes for you. Its square, red text tries to cheer you on with…”Only blank more minutes to go!”
I’ll never get used to the concept of walking and running for miles but never getting anywhere. I am always haunted by the image of George Jetson screaming “Jane! Get me off this crazy thing!” The upside to my daily visit to the health club is that I have the opportunity to watch to watch twelve T.V. screens at the same time. It is during these workouts that I analyze the world from the picture drawn by these 12 screens.
With “Only 38 more minutes to go!”, I caught a glimpse of former President Bill Clinton on screen 3. I switched over from the Travel Channel and listened as he answered a reporter’s question about the future of Haiti. Clinton looked like he was on the campaign trail as he rattled off a Christmas list of lefty, eco-friendly solutions. He talked up the opportunity to make Haiti better that it was, with green jobs , sustainable farming, reforestation, and an end to the corruption that has hamstrung the nation for generations.(To find out more go to: Bill Clinton: It Will Take Years to Rebuild Haiti- Newsweek.com)
Sounds great, right? Just one more question: Who’ going to pay for all of this?
Haiti lies in ruins and the rebuilding effort is going to be a massive and expensive undertaking. The eyes of the world are focused on relieving the human suffering caused by the earthquake. Donations of money and supplies will soon reach the victims, but how long will it last? Do we have the resources or attention span to rebuild Haiti? The United States economy has suffered the equivalent of the Haitian earthquake and we are far from recovering. President Obama has promised 100 million dollars to the relief effort that we must heap on top of our Mt. Everest deficit. Moreover, did I miss the transformation of New Orleans into a green utopia?
There is no question tht we should assist the people of Haiti. But plans for turning Haiti into an island Shangri-la financed by the U.S. Government may be a case of too many people in the lifeboat. A pinch of reality is needed. Haiti’s recovery will happen- it has natural resources and beaches that are desirable. The evacuation of people from Port-au-Prince appears to be the immediate solution. Once the rubble has been cleared, there will be a natural rebuilding as Haitians return home with ideas and plans to rebuild their lives. Flooding Haiti with “free” money will only rekindle political corruption and diminish the chance for a stable nation. Instead, America should export our two most valuable resources- freedom and capitalism. Let’s actually apply the words “organic” and “sustainable” and see what we can grow with charity and hard work. One last question: Did I miss the rebuilding of the Twin Towers?
Sometimes the treadmill display congratulates me for making it to the end of my workout before the show that I’m watching is over. It’s a bit of a dilemma for me to choose between watching and walking or putting an end to my suffering. I usually finish watching- I hate not knowing how things end. I like to reach conclusions about things; it makes me feel like I’m getting somewhere.