16 March 2011

God is great, but money talks

Everyday my heart sinks lower as I read about the horrible situation in Japan. I know a girl working over there on a contract as an English teacher and I can’t even begin to imagine how frightening the atmosphere must be. It’s one thing to survive one of the country’s largest earthquakes and subsequent tsunamis, but add on the fear of exposure to radiation from nuclear power facilities, and it’s a whole new ball game. Thankfully, she weathered the storm and plans to head home on the next available flight out of town – back to Canada and her hubby’s waiting embrace.

The situation in Japan looks grim, there’s no two ways about it. While I have no doubt of the resourcefulness, grace and intelligence of the Japanese people, they still have one heck of a mess on their hands. With crippling debt already facing their economy, I’m not sure they can simply bounce back and land on their feet. It’s going to take help and a whole lot of humanity.

Have you ever sat down to read some of the reader comments posted on CBC or otherwise? So often people are quick to pray and or say “God bless Japan in their time of need.” While I’m no stranger to prayer, I think the most helpful response at this time is to open up your pocketbooks, forego your latt├ęs for a few weeks, and give what you can towards a reputable humanitarian relief organization. Thoughts are nice, but financial aid will go further towards rebuilding the country.

Situations like this really drive home the fact that we really ARE intrinsically all the same. It doesn’t matter whether you’re born in a palace, a hospital, field tent, or alley; we come into this world the same – Human. We are powerless to a certain degree, a product of whatever environment we are born into. Some have the misfortune of being born in war-torn countries, others along precarious coastlines, etc. No matter the race, class, colour or creed, nobody deserves this kind of human suffering. It drives home the fact that, as humans, we are all vulnerable and subject to whatever Mother Nature or life wants to throw at us.

I don’t think there is ever a way to eradicate human suffering, these kinds of disasters are beyond our control, but we can facilitate the healing process and the continuation of life by donating a little of our own good fortune. If the shoe were on the other foot, which I am not fool enough to ever discount, I would hope for the same sort of compassion.

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