Friday, December 31, 2004

Good Bye 2004

The last day of 2004 and we're well rid of that one. It was a year, alright, quite a year. Just read the letter from Aaron in yesterday's blog to ponder some of the pain and suffering this year has seen. Natural disaster, human suffering of unfathomable proportions, war, political disaster, tragedy, human cruelty...

And yet daily life goes on. The clock ticks, the internet connection hums, the children need lunch, there is work to be done. The dailiness of things keeps us going when nothing else does. It's the ordinary things that pull us through.

There's a lot of talk right now about the absence of God, the existence of God in the first place, the reality that bad things happen to good people often, unremittingly, all the time, a lot. Too much.

There are a lot of people who are very angry at their God right now. And there are many whose belief in their God will pull them through. Those without a belief in God are also in a quandry. No matter what kind of God or no God you've got, you're probably struggling to understand the breadth of this tragedy.

There is also the unpleasant feeling of uselessness. At this distance, other than contributing money, there is nothing to do but watch and cry. With this comes a kind of survivor's guilt - guilt for the fact that our lives are (thankfully) untouched by this kind of pain and suffering. Guilt for our abundance, guilt for the superficiality of what ails us right now.

And then there's the fear, a deep, penetrating one: what happens if and when our lives are touched by such terribleness. What would we do?

When bad things happen, Fred Rogers, that dapper genuis of children's television, used to say, "Look for the good." Even in the worst of times, he'd say, there is good to be found.

In this case, one has only to look at the faces of the survivors who are burying the dead, beginning to clean up, helping one another heal. Good people the world over are also flocking there to help: Doctors Without Borders, the International Red Cross, and other local and international organziations are pitching in. There is good to be found.

For the moment, the world's focus is on this tragedy -- everyone is grieving for the missing, praying for the survivors, and trying to help in some small way.

Wouldn't it be amazing if this shared moment could change the course of history? Wouldn't it be amazing if the world came together and recognized the importance of daily life, the power of the ordinary, the simple things that everyone holds dear?

Wouldn't that be amazing?


At 4:46 PM, Blogger Helen_of_Sparta said...

I am in awe of your blog - you really do write the most interesting and eloquent pieces that I've ever read! You should consider publishing (on real paper)! :-) Sorry for my absence on with Roe has been a very busy experience (see my blog for more details...I finally updated)...
Thanks again for your wonderful post.
~ Lydia

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Little Light said...

I started thinking about this over the weekend too. Sometimes when the worst happens or you see the worst in people, you see the best in others. What a way to get the world to work together.


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