Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Making History

There are some dates that are forever etched into our memories. Birthdays of special friends and family meembers, anniversaries, and even landmarks in history. Quick! When was Pearl Harbor attacked by the Japanese? December 2. Columbus sailed the ocean blue in forteen-hundred-ninety-two. With some historic events, the date alone tells the story: 9-11.

I always love those "on this day in history" segment in certain news programs. It's already 10:00am, I have a full plate of writing assignments and deadlines, and instead, I'm writing my blog. And I'm wondering what happened on this particular day in history. January 26. And of course, there are Entire Websites dedicated to nothing but telling me what happened on this day in history.

So what happened on January 26? Some pretty important things, actually. In 1802, Congress passed an act calling for establishment of a library within the US Capitol. In 1837, Michigan became the 26th state in the United States. In 1988, Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera opened on Broadway. It would go on to become the longest-running Broadway show.

In more recent history, a magnitude 7.7 earthquake rocked the Indian state of Gujarat, killing more than 20,000 people in 2001. Just nine years ago, and I don't know about you, but I have absolutely NO recollection of that at all. That would be like wiping out all of Madison, where I live. I'm sure that this date will forever be etched in the brains of the survivors, as will the day the earthquake struck Haiti, where they say fatalities can reach into the hundreds of thousands.

Each day is a gift. It's up to us to decide what to do with it. What will you make of this day? I have no choice (unless I want to do without an income). I have deadlines that determine what I must do today. But sitting at home, in front of my computer, in my warm, comfortable jammies (don't hate me!), I can make a difference. Hopefully the articles I write will be provacative, informative, entertaining and interesting. With any luck, the readers will know more than before they read them, and some will be motivated to learn more.

And I can give a portion of what I earn today to the relief efforts in Haiti. I'm going to do it the easy way. We all know what the Red Cross does in times of disaster. To give, simply text the word “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross relief efforts. Another organization doing great work is the YĆ©le Haiti--a foundation started by Grammy-Award winning musician, producer and social entrepreneur Wyclef Jean that is changing lives in the desperately poor but optimistic nation of Haiti. Text the word “YELE” to 501501 to Donate $5 to Yele Haiti’s Earthquake Relief efforts. Either way, the charge will appear on your phone bill. How easy is that? Imagine, if everyone with a cell phone did this. Another fact I found on the Internet: the United States has about 250 million cell phone subscribers – a number equal to 82 percent of the population. If everyone did this we could raise $1,250,000,000 to $2,500,000,000 IN A DAY! (For the math-impaired, that's BILLIONS!!!)

At the end of this day, will you look back on January 26,2010 and know that you've done something with this gift? Whatever it is, start doing it now...it's almost half way over, and you'll never get this day back again.

Blessings to all who read this!

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