A weekend of perspective

As I worked on updating this blog and various other tasks to do with work and study on Friday night, I checked in on my emails and news from around the world. I intended to take a quick look at my favourite international news station, Al Jazeera, but then I was shocked and appalled at the pictures of destruction appearing in real-time. Japan had suffered a huge earthquake, and a tsunami was further smashing the lives and towns of the poor people on the coast. Words seem too simple to describe the powerful feelings of jaw-dropping astonishment, spine-tingling awe and overwhelming sadness for the people who must have been swept away by the power of the water, and for everyone else who survived to watch all they know turned to splinters amidst the rubble.

At first I was quite worried about some special family friends there, so I contacted my mother to check where they live, and then I felt relieved because even though they do live on the east coast, they live much further south, far away from the quake’s epicenter and the tsunami’s strike zone. Then, I thought about my other newer friends who are in Japan. One lives on the west coast, and so at first I thought she was safe, but then on Saturday night came news that one of the nuclear reactors had blown up! It was extremely shocking and quite disconcerting to think that nuclear fall-out could spread over all the poor people who are already so tragically coping with the sudden effects of seeing their lives and loved ones swept away.

I was glad to hear that Korea is immediately sending a team of rescuers and a couple of trained sniff and search dogs. I hope all countries do this and much, much more. Furthermore, I also hope that all countries who have committed to helping Haiti after their really big and also devastating earthquake last year have actually made good on their promises and paid the amounts they originally said they would, if not a lot more. The people there probably still need help to cope with their disaster, as do the people of Otautahi – Christchurch, in Aotearoa – New Zealand although for a relatively brief time. I think the poor people of the towns and cities near Sendai, Japan will be reconstructing their lives for a long, long time.

Meanwhile, the middle east sees continued blood-spilling conflict between spoiled-brat bad-boy dictators and their long-suffering people.

Such events make me all the more grateful for a simple day of warm spring sunshine, and the stability of my nice, freshly spring-cleaned apartment, my job, my family, and all my kind, funny, caring, strange, generous friends, and pancakes for breakfast (filled with banana, lime juice and blueberry/maple syrup). Every day of calm and happiness we live in a developed country, and here in this newly developed world of the Republic of Korea, is a day of great luck and relative leisure.

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