The earthquakes in Haiti have caused a huge, terrifying, catastrophe. The people affected by tragedy in Port Au Prince represent a large plurality of the people of this planet:
There are a lot more statistics to show that the average middle class existence of an American family is unusual, in fact almost amazing, compared to so many people around the world.
Naturally, in an environment which is not immediately affected by the problems of hungry and poor people, the US citizens who are eating every day and don't go to bed hungry, may tend to take for granted their amazingly good fortune. Even though many of us see homeless people begging for money right under our noses.
The one-two punch of the earthquakes striking near a major city of Haiti, a totally poor country, and the mainstream media able to get stories and visuals back to American citizens so quickly, provides a clue of how bad off much of people of the world really are. But we still have to be told that Haiti's problems, which began before the earthquake, are more universal than unique.
Unlike the tsunamis which were half way around the world, this natural event is much more close to home--680 miles from Miami.
An act of nature on this scale makes a rational person want to see an end to the petty squabbles of various groups within the species of humanity, and recognize the real enemy is within each of us, and not from someone else.