I’ve been trying to come to grips with the news coming in about the Indian Ocean Tsunami. It seems so surreal. The pictures I’ve seen show that it was a beautiful day when this thing came lumbering ashore and just rolled over anything in its way. In the same way, here we are in the middle of the holiday season, lights blinking on the tree, while reports of a death toll destined to clear 100,000 souls come in the background. I’m only catching in bits and pieces because this is the time of year that I try to unplug and catch time with the family but it’s clear now that this is a tremendous tragedy of uncomprehending vastness. My sister is in the region (she’s fine) so she must feel it even stronger – what to do? You want to help but showing up now would only mean she’d add her mouth to all the others looking for a bit to eat.
What really brings it home are the pictures of the dead children. As a father, I can imagine the pain that a parent must feel when they must bury their son or daughter. The innocent faces, they look like they are sleeping, it rips my heart to see them, one life cut short, the other left in tatters.
I hope that we can learn from this somehow. That we can pull together and help each other through this time, that the league of nations can set their differences aside, turn away from petty conflict and strife and take care of others in more dire need. We were given the chance to change our thinking after 9/11 shocked the world with the terror that man unleash upon itself, we’ve been given a second chance with this natural disaster.
But some good may even come of that. . . . I heard this morning that the Tamil Tigers have been working with government troops to bind the wounds of Sri Lanka. That may come to nothing, but at least they’re not killing each other at the moment.
Shadows this dark can cast a powerful light.John Perry Barlow