How the Haitian People Deal with Tragedies in Leonard Pitts Sometimes, the Earth is Cruel

Topics: Haiti

Sometimes the Earth is Cruel Response

“Sometimes, the earth is cruel, and you have no choice but to accept that as part of the bargain called life. And when it is your turn to deal with it, you do. But what if it’s always your turn?” Leonard Pitts asks in his article, “Sometimes, the Earth is Cruel,” ingraining this question in the reader’s mind to ponder. Two days after the Haiti earthquake on January 12, 2010, Leonard Pitts, an award-winning journalist, wrote an article for the Miami Herald in which he describes the Haitian people’s response to the 7.

0 magnitude earthquake. When a journalist’s purpose is strictly to inform, he or she will present the facts objectively. However, Pitts does more than this. He carefully crafts his text to create an inspirational impression on the readers. The Haitians’ actions after their hardships exemplify that people can go on no matter what obstacles are in the way.

Despite the Haitians’ appearance of smiling on the outside, they are secretly struggling on the inside.

Everyday is a constant battle since there seems to be disasters of all varieties: floods, droughts, hurricanes, tropical storms, and earthquakes – always particularly occurring in Haiti. For example, when he beautifully illustrates that the Haitians, “Dig out. Weep and mourn. Memorialize the dead. Rebuild. Go on. And show the world once again a stubborn insistence on living, despite all the cruelties of the earth,” he emphasizes the negative impact the recent earthquake had on them and their ability to stay strong.

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Despite the constant insurmountable circumstances, the Haitians do not complain, whine, nor beg for the attention of other people. In fact, the Haitians already receive all of this grief without having to beg for any. This shows that the Haitians do not mind being independent and believes in themselves to survive.

Not only is his work informative, but it is also descriptively written with powerful wisdom and pleasant, visualizable imagination. For example, when Pitts wrote that, “Sometimes the rains fall and will not stop. Sometimes the skies turn barren and will not rain. Sometimes the seas rise and smack the shoreline like a fist. Sometimes the wind bullies the land. And sometimes, the land rattles and heaves and splits itself into two,” he creatively utilizes personification and easily shows how varied the catastrophes can be, some the exact opposite of each other. For instance, a flood and a drought, two deadly disasters, can occur in the same place, which elaborates on the fact that the weather in Haiti is terrible. This is important because it shows that Haitians have faced all types of natural disasters, and yet they are still setting courageous examples to others by staying strong. In addition, Pitts’ tone makes the Haitians’ case seem hopeless by remarking, “But what else are you going to do?… Your arms are too short to box with God… We are hamstrung by our own limitations, so we can only do what we always do, only send prayers and help. And watch, staggered by the courage it takes, as Haitians do what… they have become so terribly practiced.” Although he depicts our kind efforts and attempts to help as if they are almost useless, he just wanted to add on to the feeling of more pity, hopelessness, and sorrow. A golden line is when he uses repetition by repeating, “Sometimes, the earth is cruel.”

Pitts wants to have this image permanently glued internally to emphasize his condolences to Haiti. Had it been an ordinary article, most of us bystanders would first read with shock but then shrug it off. His style and thought-provoking sentences leave the reader to inevitably care and wonder about Haiti’s well-being, much better than a typical news headline. The way Pitts retells the Haitians’ story spreads gratitude, pity, and guilt to everyone for not being appreciative of what they already have. On top of it all, the article states that “Haiti is wretchedly poor. Bad enough it has a history of political instability and colonialism, of being ignored by the major powers when it is not being able exploited by them.” In fact, Haiti is the poorest nation on the western hemisphere. This quote made Pitts shake his head and drop his jaw mentally in disbelief. How selfish can humanity be? They see innocent people on the verge of death but they still have the nerve to take even more away. Even if the more fortunate were to help, they wouldn’t dare to try without a compensation. This puts Pitts in a position to shame society. As the article mentions, “Sometimes, though, you have to wonder if the planet itself is not conspiring against this humble little nation.” Truer words could not have been spoken.

Yet nowadays, there are so many people who hate themselves and want to end their lives, despite all of the privileges they have compared to the Haitians. Furthermore, the Haitians’ capability to move forward and forget the past enforces their fortitude and valiance to endure and mourn through their difficulties. This is something we can all learn from. If they can overcome these disasters, then we can overcome our own problems as well. In describing how the Haitian people deal with tragedy, Pitts aims to inform his readers about the regular horrors of Haiti. The Haitians should be celebrated for dealing with natural disasters left and right and for humanity’s reluctance to assist. Ultimately, the main lesson we can learn from Pitts is that giving up is a choice. Anyone can take a step forward and carry on. This is significant because everyone has his or her own personal troubles and has considered defeat. Pitts’ article serves as an impact to remind and motivate people to cross any hurdles in their way.

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How the Haitian People Deal with Tragedies in Leonard Pitts Sometimes, the Earth is Cruel. (2021, Dec 27). Retrieved from

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