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Monday, May 19, 2008

Far From Home Never Felt So Close

Unless you've been living under a rock (or perhaps an affluent suburb in the U.S. and don't pay attention to "news" outside of MTV), you've for sure heard of the earthquake that hit Chengdu, China recently.

This natural disaster struck just days after a cyclone ripped through Myanmar. The big difference between these two tragedies for me, as much as I hate to admit it, is the fact that I care a whole lot more about the tragedy affecting China.

It was eye opening to realize this -- and it was immediately apparent to me -- I care more simply because I have been to China and can easily find Chengdu on a map. We met people that were traveling there. And what's more, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe my sister actually got routed through Chengdu on her way to Beijing.

I think realizing this is a good lesson for me (and for everyone in this world). It's good to travel. It's good to interact with other cultures. It's good to step outside your backyard and shake hands with someone that speaks a different language. It's not only fun, but it creates more empathy in this world, and I'm pretty sure that's one thing we don't have enough of.

2 comments:

Addie O said...

Hmmm, I have to agree that I care more for the Chinese tragedy than the cyclone, but my reasoning has a lot more to do with politics. It's really hard for me to get behind a government and it's people when the government (junta) refuses to allow aid from outside countries. Like Zimbabwe, Myanmar seems willing and eager to starve and kill her people for the sake of being independent. Needless agony and death for death's sake.

Rumana said...

Yikes, that's a tough one, Addie... What if we had a tragedy in the United States, but a lot of people/countries didn't really care because of our political actions. Oh wait. But that doesn't make the tragedy any less impactful/hurtful/scary for the people who aren't in control of what their government does/says/etc...