We hear the stories of a the tragedy unfolding in Japan, and our hearts cannot help but cry out. This is a wonderful aspect of humanity. A friend sent me an insightful article from Caroline Myss in which she very articulately lets all her readers know why we need to work to ensure that we do not have nuclear weapons (and, I would add, new nuclear power) with which I wholeheartedly agree.
The unfolding tragedy also drives home for me how important it is that we speak out against the wars in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and on the verge in Libya and for sustainable environmental policies. On the 11th of March, I wrote this in my journal: “Mother Nature is wild and fierce no matter how much control we try to exert. I pray that a nuclear disaster does not follow. U.S. military is working with [later note: I think that was just an offer] the Japanese to share experience and skill to get in back up power to bring water in to cool the reactors. Peaceful military work, I am behind. Some fearful reflection of Hiroshima.”
My question is this: why are we sending money to those living in the third largest economy in the world (Japan’s own citizens are reportedly wondering why their government is not doing more to help–sort of how people like us wondered and may still be wondering about the lack of assistance from the government of our wealthy country after Katrina)? We are denying money on a societal level to help those in the poorest countries or perhaps are not making offerings on an individual level (or not speaking to our elected officials about such topsy-turvy, anti-compassion policies?) Why do we send our hearts and prayers to those suffering from a sudden natural disaster, but forget to do so for the tens of thousands and their families our own country has killed or wounded? Why do we spend or allow to be spent in our name billions on killing, but let it be determined that we do not have millions on aid for the suffering or for enhancing life through the arts, education, taking care of our cities, our parks, the natural beauty around us?
I, like all of you, am filled with a sense of horror and loss and love and compassion and an impulse to help. How I am choosing to use the energy of my upsurge in awareness of suffering from the unfolding disaster is to give more than I usually give to organizations that work to heal the environment and to prevent new damage by virtue of the current political policies, to seek the end of war, and to give humanitarian aid to the poorest of the poor who are dying and suffering every day at home and around the world in numbers far exceeding the sudden loss in Japan, and to support the increase in light through the arts and education and parks.
What do you think is the best way you can transmute the natural compassion you have been feeling from reading the news of Japan into making the world a better place?