Here's the Haiti connection: when something huge is going on, it feels wrong not to be somehow involved in the moment. It reminds me of the feeling I had once in the early 70s when I was working as a reporter for the local afternoon paper, The Raleigh Times. Some big local story broke; I have a vague memory of a hijacking attempt at the airport. I was working on another story and wasn't shifted to the big news of the day. In the newsroom I was surrounded by people madly working at deadline on this one overwhelming event. It made what I was doing feel trivial, or disrespectful, or just beside the point.
Curiously the opposite was true during the 9/11 morning. I was creating a set of book club questions about themes in my novel Sister India. I learned that one tower had gone down. Then I went back to work. Somehow the impulse to find a TV to watch felt like prurient interest. (It somehow didn't occur to me that another building might fall. I foolishly optimistically assumed it was over.)
In any case, the fact that my novel was about Hindu-Muslim clashes in an Indian holy city made what I was doing feel intensely relevant.
I have no such feeling about my schedule for today and any connection with the collapsed city of Port-au-Prince. And I'm distracted.
The bold thing -- the right thing -- is to send money, say a prayer, and go back to doing the stuff that is mine to do. Certainly my dawdling at Page Six Celebrity Gossip isn't going to help anything.