(Article updated 18th August 2010)
It is incredible that it is now almost six years since Tsunami struck Asia and parts of Africa.
On 26th Dec 2004, the world changed forever. As the Tsunami waves caused death and destruction, the world re-discovered what it is like to be compassionate.
Then in 2005, mankind was further ravaged and humbled by nature through hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Pakistan.
One of the lessons to be learnt from such tragedies is of course just how helpless we are in the face of natural disasters.
However, to me the more important lesson to be learnt is the level of compassion and indeed heroism that human beings can show during such times.
Soon after the Tsunami, Katrina and Pakistan earthquake disasters, we witnessed a huge “outbreak” of compassion. But since then, I believe that our level of compassion has subsided, now that we don’t have any major natural catastrophes to focus on.
There is an ongoing emergency in parts of Africa suffering from drought, famine and war. But somehow Africa and the chronic poverty inherent in some countries never commands the same media coverage as the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, or even the morality drought in Big Brother house.
It is an indictment of our times and our values that we spend more time on debating the behaviour of so called celebrities on a contrived TV show than on things that really matter.
The question is just how can we keep alive the compassion after the media focus on such disasters as such as Tsunami and Katrina wanes as it always seems to do. And how can we show such compassion during “normal” times?
Just how do we harness this force for good?
Are we just having a “pit stop” before we all start being truly compassionate again?
I strongly feel that it is high time we really questioned how we are living our lives and treating our fellow human beings and the planet.
How can we learn from Tsunami, Katrina and the Pakistan flooding to bring even more love into the world?
It is not just up to individuals, but also corporates and gorvenments to reflect on this question.
And then to do something about this.
Top Photo Credit: AFP and Reuters
Lovely post about the need for compassion my friend and it shows the golden heart that you have.
Thank you for the message and thank you for being who you are.
Yes we do need to be more compassionate. But I don’t think people are fatigued or ignoring Pakistan. I think the problem is that there is so much devastation and war going on all over the globe we can no longer respond to each incident with high numbers. We are being spread too thin because of the enormous amount of need in the world.
Wars and skirmishes in the Middle East, Central America, and on our own US southern border, just to name a few. There have been many earthquakes in the last year, hurricanes, fires in Russia, drought, landslides in China, excessive heat in many countries. I think we are overwhelmed with the sheer amount of need. That fact is paralyzing to some. How do they choose?
Couple that with the fact that there is high unemployment and underemployment in the world and people are tapped out. They don’t have as much money to give. Money that would support aid organizations. Governments are broke so they don’t have the funds or resources to send. And, how do they choose which ones to help? If they help them all the amount given to each area is lessened.
The volume is overwhelming us.