Is it just me or is there very little love being sent to Chile following the recent massive 8.8 earthquake and tsunami?
The message from UN officials has been clear from the get go, saying Chile was probably the best disaster-prepared country in Latin America. True, Chile has a strong government with a functioning democracy, a sound infrastructure and organized services. Yet, I still can't help but wonder if its people deserve some sort of international group hug, if for nothing else, to boost moral.
When I hear that an estimated 2 million people have been affected and 500,000 homes damaged, I don't really care how rich they are as a country or how organized their government is -- I want to see people rally some international love. Sometimes what we need as a country is to see our people reach out and give from their hearts. Giving is good for us; it allows us to connect, feel and reach a sense of gratitude. It's humbling. Giving is good.
So, leave it up to a solid and sound group of surfers to organize support for Chile. Many surfers, musicians and artists hold a deep appreciation for the awe-inspiring Chilean coast that was hit hardest by the tsunami. Don't tell anyone, but the surf in Chile is worthy and the people radiant bursts of sunshine. Last Friday Brushfire Records held a surfers' benefit for Chile at their studios in Los Angeles. It was a very impromptu and intimate gathering of friends, surfers, artists and musicians who do what they do, play and connect outwardly through their combined creativity and hearts.
Musicians Jackson Browne, Jon Swift, White Buffalo, Andrew Bird and the Los Angeles alt-rock band Dawes performed heart-felt acoustic and electric sets for a tiny sold-out crowd inside Brushfire's recording studio with the onlookers spilling out into the studio backyard. I unexpectedly plopped down at Musician Jackson Browne's feet, all squished up against my man, listening to Browne croon a new song he recently wrote about Haiti that he performed for the first time that evening. Yes, there is romance in giving.
Surfer and Filmmaker Chris Malloy summed up the community's feelings at the event: "My entire family and I forever hold priceless memories of great times with our generous friends in Chile. The least we can do is give back to this place and its warm people who have given us so much." Malloy's film 180 South (www.180South.com) was shot in South America and was projected on a large screen in the front yard.
The evening also featured a silent auction of art, photos and other donated items from surfing luminaries Jack Johnson, Kelly Slater, Thomas Campbell, Shepherd Fairey, Wolfgang Bloch and others. $10,000 was raised for the Save the Waves Coalition's ongoing Chile relief effort.
While I respect a country's capability to handle the situation alone, sometimes they aren't the boss of us or at least they aren't the boss of the hearts their people have touched so deeply.
Learn more and support the movement at http://www.savethewaves.org