Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Bit of Perspective

By now we've all heard about the devastating cyclone in Myanmar and the deadly earthquake in China. Both are natural disasters of gigantic proportions. A sad and difficult to absorb loss of life and property. Something that we have a lot of trouble understanding or relating to here in the US (with the exception of those who experienced the horror of hurricane Katrina.)

I was chatting with a friend last week, and he was talking about how cold the weather was where he lived. He was complaining actually. Something I also do more regularly than I care to admit!

Then, as my friend complained about how cold it was and how uncomfortable it made him, he read a headline on the internet about the death toll from the earthquake in China. "Oh my God! 25,000 killed in the earthquake in China... and I'm complaining about the cold!"

That led us to have an interesting discussion about perspective. I have continued to reflect on this. It's amazing to me how caught up with get in things that don't really matter. I myself suffer from chronic impatience and often have internal angst when things don't happen on my time line. Or I, like my friend, focus on something that is making me 'uncomfortable' and feel indignant that the situation exists!

And then... something like Myanmar or China occurs, and I'm once again reminded that I am so extraordinarily lucky. I am so incredibly blessed. As 'grateful' as I try to be, I know that I spend a lot of time taking for granted my many blessings and the gift of the abundant life that I am fortunate enough to live.

My friend's comment was a good reminder. I have a home. I have food to eat. I have work that I love. I have my family, my friends, and my health. I want for nothing, really. Most people in the world do not have what I have. All I should be is extremely grateful. Complaining should be the last thing I ever consider doing!

Take some time to count your blessings today. So many people, all over this world, count it a good day when they simply survive. If you aren't in that boat... you have much to be grateful for.

Like I found some perspective with my friend's comment, I hope you will find some perspective from this discussion.

Also, consider exercising your place in the family of humanity and make a donation to the International Red Cross. I think it says something to our world community and to ourselves when we recognize that we are all part of the same family. When someone in China, Myanmar, Iraq or the US suffers, we all suffer. Make a small donation... it doesn't have to be large. Just let the suffering members of your family know that you care. Expand your notion of family, and reach out. It means the world to those who have lost everything.

Interntional Red Cross/Red Crescent:

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