Archive for Thursday, January 6, 2005

Opinion: Need aplenty to go around

January 6, 2005

The mounting death tolls in the Asian earthquake/tsunami disaster stagger the imagination. The death toll, at latest count, stands somewhere in the vicinity of 140,000.

These grim numbers include upwards of 100,000 in Indonesia, the country that was closest to the epicenter of the undersea earthquake that precipitated the disaster, with lesser amounts in Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, the Maldive Islands and the Seychelles, until the last waves crashed ashore seven hours later and 3,000 miles away on the east coast of Africa.

Such disasters are instructive, in that they teach us to count our blessings.
Beyond that, they also challenge us to respond. As yet, relief agencies seem to be assessing needs and assembling data; once those needs are revealed and those data are assembled, with a disaster of this magnitude, it's a certainty that there will be plenty of need to go around.

Therein lies yet one more test of our humanity -- how we respond to far-off suffering and need in our global village.

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