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An Elegant Bit Of Covid-19 Grace

A lot is bad right now but a lot of good is emerging alongside it

Rising Temperatures And Drought Conditions Intensify Water Shortage For Navajo Nation
THOREAU, NEW MEXICO - JUNE 06: A tap drips water at a spigot on land of the Navajo Nation in the town of Thoreau on June 06, 2019 in Thoreau, New Mexico. Due to disputed water rights and other factors, up to 40 percent of Navajo Nation households don’t have clean running water and are forced to rely on weekly and daily visits to water pumps. The problem for the Navajo Nation, a population of over 200,000 and the largest federally-recognized sovereign tribe in the U.S., is so significant that generations of families have never experienced indoor plumbing. Rising temperatures associated with global warming have worsened drought conditions on their lands over recent decades. The reservation consists of a 27,000-square-mile area of desert and high plains in New Mexico, southern Utah and Arizona. The Navajo Water Project, a nonprofit from the water advocacy group Dig Deep, has been working on Navajo lands in New Mexico since 2013 funding a mobile water delivery truck and digging and installing water tanks to individual homes.
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Needless to say there’s a lot of pain and heartbreak that comes along with the Covid-19 pandemic. However, anything that shows the worst of humanity almost always reveals the best of it too and this is no different.

So a bit of history first.

During the Irish Potato Famine, from 1845-1849, one million Irish died and about as many left.

Something of surpassing grace happened that we never heard of until Monday: the Choctaw and Navajo nations, despite great suffering of their own, raised $150 to send to the Irish people.

That’s not much by today’s standards but in the 1840s, it went a long way.

Well the Irish have not forgotten and when the chance came to honor the Choctaw and Navajo for what they did 173 years ago, they did it right, helping to raise over $1.6 million via

It’s a sweet story on many levels. And yet as the Irish honor the two nations, we can’t help but ask: why aren’t we doing more? Who has a bigger debt than us?

So while the suffering is widespread, please consider a special mercy for the First Peoples who offered great compassion in a much darker time than today. The Navajo in particular are really suffering and to make matters worse, many lack running water. So if you are able, please let’s pitch in with the Irish and everyone else who has contributed to this GoFundMe. They could really use the help right now and it shouldn’t be just the Irish, or even mostly the Irish, who provide it.