Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Stuff on My Mind

Sometimes, I have to take a reality check.

I'm struggling these days because I have lots of family in the Philippines, and since Typhoon Ondoy hit last week, I've been worried about my aunt. We hadn't heard from her since last Wednesday. Thankfully, we did get word from her that she is ok.

What disturbs me most about this awful event is my relative forgetfulness of the seriousness of these disasters. I mean, they happen a lot in that part of the world, but it feels like I'm becoming more and more desensitized to them. It's the Philippines... they have disasters...

Something that really shook me today, however, was seeing this video, showing a family literally being swept away by the water. That water is going really fast! Imagine the terror of both the family and the onlookers. I struggle to hold back the tears watching it. This is real. This happened.

I hope and pray that I will never, ever get used to seeing these disasters, and that I will not be insensitive to the real suffering that goes on in the world. I'm not saying that I should be sad and depressed all the time. Rather, I want to be aware, awake, conscious, and not too wrapped up in the little things that, ultimately, don't really matter.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote:

I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning, understanding, patience, love, openness and the willingness to remain vulnerable.
Perhaps it is fear of being that vulnerable that causes us to become "used" to seeing the worst. It can be difficult to be brave enough to watch things happen, things that we can not control. But if we don't, how can we teach our children empathy, care, and kindness? For, if we can not see why we should be kind, and the difference that it makes in these situations, how can anyone want to be kind?

It's time for me to remember to stay awake and conscious of life, and how it can easily be swept away, and to be aware of how important it is to make the most of every little thing I do.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh also wrote:
I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living.
In the same way, I think I could say that I must create at all costs, for it is more than doing. It is being conscious of doing, of sensations, of the wonder of my muscles that are making these things. It is being conscious of the miracle of being this person, this combination of atoms and molecules that walks and speaks and makes.

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