A week ago life changed forever for the people of Japan.
Unless you have been living in a monastery, by now you will heard of the earthquake which hit the region around Japan. The subsequent Tsunami and nuclear power fallout has meant that the world will never be the same again.
What we are seeing is a human tragedy on such a vast scale, it’s beyond our comprehension. The earthquake happened in an instant and not even an economic superpower can withstand this force of nature.
The blanket media coverage of this catastrophe has been relentless – it’s almost as if we are all drawn to tragedy and suffering.
Some of the videos of the massive Tsunami waves have been quite horrific, yet spectacular and somehow hard to stop watching.
Newspapers have also had such graphic images of all the death and destruction, the danger is that we can all switch off and not really take in the scale and immensity of what’s happening in the world today, not only in Japan but also places like Libya and Bahrain.
The massive coverage got to a point earlier this week when I felt I just had to get away from all media and take some time out. Your psyche can only take so much grief and suffering.
The danger of blanket coverage of such natural disasters is this – we become hardened and we get compassion fatigue.
The thing is this – we feel so powerless amidst such suffering. And the more we watch, the more closed off and harder we can become to all this suffering.
So next time you watch a report about the earthquake, just remember – this is real life and not the set of a Hollywood movie.
These are real people and not actors whose lives have been devastated and who have suffered terrible losses of loved ones, possessions and livelihoods.
Remember that life will never be the same again for them, whereas most of us will continue our lives as before.
Coverage of such events calls for being sensitive and allowing the affected people space and time to grieve over their losses.
I felt that some of the coverage could have been more been sensitive. Yes, journalists and media people are doing their job, but how about bringing more humanness in to their reporting?
So here is the take away from this post – do what you can in your own way to alleviate the suffering of the affected people. For instance, this could be donating through one of the many major charities, contributing some goods and if nothing else just sending positive thoughts.
The last thing you want to do is become down and upset about something you had no control over.
At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is to continue to live your life fully. The speed and scale of this tragedy is a reminder to all of us to make the most of each day.
So live your life fully each day and make a difference in the world in your own way. Just continue to be kind and loving towards those people around you – and no matter what happens, you will know that you have done your best.
And never ever become immune to showing compassion to others.
Your life can be like a movie – but just know that right now, Japan is not a Hollywood set.
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