messy world, messy emotions, messy thoughts. The weekend was fairly devastating, don't you think? I switch between being riveted to the news and trying to carry on normally, but then feeling awkward about acting as nothing has happened and not knowing how to incorporate these latest disasters into everyday life...how to feel like a good person without totally detaching from the simple (shallow?) things that bring me joy.
In the last 10 years the world has become ever more connected and broadcast and, well, smaller. The major events which occur become part of everyone's life in some way... 9-11, Iraq, Afghanistan, Katrina, Indonesia, Haiti...and now Japan. Did you know it took a couple of weeks for Europe to hear about the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln? The news had to travel across the ocean by ship. Nowadays it would be on Twitter before the sound of the gun faded. I'm not saying connectedness is a bad thing...as a blogger and a tweeter who really takes joy from the online world, that would be silly. I do think it's all happened so fast (and is changing so quickly, too) we haven't yet figured out what it really means to be connected to the rest of the world...how it affects us, and how to behave and react in a truly meaningful, human way. None of the people you watch on YouTube expected their lives to be turned upside down. What are we supposed to do? I don't know the answer, but I think I want to enhance what I call the auto 'donate & pray' reaction with a little more... mindfulness?
Yes...aid organizations need money/labor/supplies (If you are able to give $$, this article on NPR has a good list). Yes...the people in Japan need hopeful thoughts (Diane describes a lovely meditation). Japan was prepared...money, infrastructure, drills, communication...and maybe that's what makes this all the more heartbreaking (read Tara's more eloquent reflection on Tea & Cookies). Clearly I don't have any brilliant words and I'm not a great organizer of people. I have not myself figured out what to do, let alone how to do it. Cash feels so passive and it doesn't seem like enough anymore...though I know it's probably the most helpful. There is a part of me that thinks while we're clicking donation links we should also be checking in with ourselves. Are we prepared for our own worst days, wherever and whenever they may come (Slate has a good article on emergency kits).
Instead of being heartbroken, let's be active and keep our hearts full: hold those affected by disasters, natural and manmade, in our hearts.
Be your best self.
Take care of each other.
Prepare yourself for the good and the bad that may come your way.
Live without regret.
Be a good neighbor in your town, your state, your country...the world (online and physical).
Carry these thoughts with you as long as you can and revisit them even when all is well and/or forgotten.
Thanks for being good readers,