I am ashamed to admit that I normally don't pay a whole lot of attention on things that go on in other countries. I am one of the people who thinks that it would be much cooler if celebrities spent all their time, money and energy helping their fellow Americans rather than globetrotting. It's not that I don't care about other people, it just seems like we should solve our own problems of poverty and crime before seeking out others.
Today, however, when I read an article about the recent earthquake in China, I was so overwhelmed with sadness, I actually cried. It was bad enough that more than 19,000 people were killed. The part that tore at my heart was that over 400 children have been found dead so far. And that officials wouldn't let the parents in the school to help dig for them. And that some of them were missing their fingernails because they had tried to dig themselves out of the rubble.
There were photographs of parents cradling their dead children. I saw one picture of tiny bodies covered in white blankets, lined side-by-side in a makeshift morgue. A father described his feelings of desperation as he searched for his daughter, as he dressed her body in pink pajamas. This, in a country where families are only allowed to have one child. I cannot imagine the devastation. The whole thing was so depressing.
And I'm sorry if I'm depressing you. But the whole thing made me think. And pray. And think some more.
It made me think about how we are so fortunate to live in a country where we can have as many children as we want. And even though I believe there are people who have children for the wrong reasons, I'm so glad that I live in a place where we have that option. I am sick to death of hearing all the anti-American rhetoric that the mainstream media spews, but I am so glad that they have the right to do so. The poor parents in China had no course of action to take when they were denied access to their children. Can you imagine the outrage if that had happened here?
I thought about what it would feel like to lose a child. Your only child. You were not allowed to help your child escape from a dark, dirty, desolate school building. You had to stand outside the building, held back by officials who, instead of digging, were concerned with keeping you away while your most precious treasure lay inside, alone, afraid, injured. I cannot imagine. I hope I never encounter such loss.
And then, when I looked again, for the tenth time, at those pictures, at the grief on those parents' faces, I thought of something else. How, despite cultural and ethnic differences, we really are so alike. We are all just humans. People. Mothers and fathers, loving and cherishing their children with all that they have.
Ok, so that is depressing...I'll stop now. How about a picture of Big Tuna getting a brain freeze while wolfing down his very first ice cream cone?
Worked for me! :)