Strange how we’re all connected, yet unconnected at the same time. Was it only one week ago an earthquake, on a scale most of us had never imagined, hit Japan—then the tsunami and the threat of a nuclear meltdown? Like many, I spent the last few days either watching TV or checking the internet, waiting and watching with a growing sense of horror as developments unfolded.
Also, like many, I watched while our investment stocks took a dive.
For my family, the timing couldn’t have been worse. We were ready to sell some of our daughter’s college investments to pay for her spring quarter classes. This morning, however, my spouse informed me that the stock market was up again. Things were (almost) back to normal; we could sell with only minor losses.
That’s good. Right? Back to normal. Everything’s back to normal…
Thousands of people are still missing, probably never to be found. Thousands more pronounced dead: children, parents, pets, spouses, and grandparents. Did the loved ones that survived them look at the stock market this morning and think, “Everything’s back to normal”?
There’s a lot of good to be said about being so connected via TV and the Internet with the rest of the world. The best result is probably the amount and speed of assistance we are able to give our fellow human beings. Yet, the overwhelming amount of tragedy we’re exposed to every day creates as much disconnect, as it does connection. Without that disconnect, we simply couldn’t go on. It is the right thing to do, the thing we would want our loved ones to do should tragedy strike… but I can’t help feeling as if we’re getting just a little bit too good at it. (i.e. Fooling ourselves into believing the state of our lives can be measured by the state of the economy.)
So, if you’re reading this, whether it’s today, or you happen upon this page a year from now, I’d like to ask you to do something. Connect for one minute or five and send up a prayer to those for whom feeling normal again will take much more than the rebuilding of a house or road…or a rise in the stock market. Stop and allow yourself to care—to really care about their loss. Then go on and live your best life, be kind to a stranger and even kinder to those you love, because ultimately, that is the best thing we can do. As my spouse likes to say (and truly believes):
God Bless Everyone. No Exceptions.