I’m back from my trip and blogging again. I’ve actually wanted to blog about the tsunami disaster in Asia and Africa for a while now, but haven’t quite been able to. I felt numb just thinking about it.
Last night, though, I cried, and it was very freeing.
To some slight extent I feel the waves of sorrow that my brothers and sisters on the other side of the world feel. It’s like I too, have lost my family, my home, my livelihood, although at a much, much lower level. I think the waves of sorrow are like radio waves–if we’re willing to be receptive, we can tune in to each other, and share the sorrow and the emotional pain.
I’m heartened by the fact that there is so much awareness and compassion regarding this disaster. It makes me feel the world is changing for the better when I consider that when the Tangshan quake hit China in 1976, anywhere from 250,000-650,000 people were killed, and there was virtually no awareness of nor concern about it outside of that country.
It will take years to rebuild, and we will need to continue offering support not just now, but for years to come.
Last week, I had a strange experience at the airport. As I was waiting at a gate for my departing flight, a man whom I took to be a fellow passenger on my flight sat down a few seats away from me. I felt almost an instantaneous dislike for him. He proceeded to whip out a cell phone, and have a loud conversation in which he laughed about the disaster and called it “just good population control” and said “guess God wasn’t with them this time.”
I felt such a shock in my spirit — this wasn’t mere ignorance, this was *evil*. I felt that I wanted both to get the hell away from him, and at the same moment, to go up to him and punch his lights out. In a few seconds I calmed down, and realized that I would must make my objection known — strongly, though silently.
When he ended his call, I caught his gaze and held eye contact with him for a few seconds. This happened again a moment later. and he then got up and left. I didn’t look to see where he went, but he didn’t come back, and he didn’t board my flight.
There’s an excellent blog by Amit Varma about the devastation in India at: