Preface: This is an inaugural edition of what I hope to be a regular article here on Newsvine. My belief is that it would be sometimes helpful to look past all of the political issues that divide Americans and instead, talk about real problems that people face on a daily basis, asking for the help of the readers of Newsvine to engage in thoughtful, constructive solution-making, free of animosity and angst. To be clear, yes, today's headline is a tip of the hat to the big fella.
"It Could Be Worse."
Rather a cliche phrase, yet apropros in light of the news events of this past week. While gas prices skyrocket, budget concerns loom and workers protest for their rights in Wisconsin, the tragic events unfolding in the small, island nation of Japan serve to remind us all that at times, our daily concerns can seem insignificant in comparison to the greatest of human tragedies.
We as Americans take much for granted in our day to day lives and it is important to reflect on this from time to time. When a great disaster strikes, it serves the interest of all to take a step back from our own personal perspectives and examine our world with a scope of vision the includes the whole of humanity. No matter the concerns in our daily lives, we're still here, living and breathing as the world turns, albeit just slightly faster than it did just a couple of days ago.
Yes, my friends, it could be worse. Many Americans sit in relative comfort on this Sunday afternoon, enjoying such fantastic technological conveniences as electricity, potable water and broadband Internet, as tens of thousands of people endure a great suffering half a world away. Many in Japan have lost everything they possess, save their precious lives. Holed up in temporary accommodations, thankful for ramen for sustenance and fearful that a terrible tragedy has not yet fully passed. Some have lost entire families, some have lost their livelihoods and many, many Japanese citizens have lost the safety net of comfort that we so very often take for granted. Still, they face an even greater danger of nuclear catastrophe.
Our empathy for these people must be resolute. Good conscience dictates it.
However, as any frequenter of Newsvine would surely acknowledge, too many of us are wrapped up in our own personal cares, arguments and ideologies to make a difference when others around the world are suffering. I urge you to refrain from argumentative discourse and do your part to effect a positive change in the world today, in a positive way. There is far too much suffering in the world on this day to spend our precious time on petty issues, when disasters of greater import loom large.
Therefore, I challenge you, good readers, to reflect upon this tragedy with an honest heart and all due sympathy. Do that which you can to aid in alleviating this suffering, be it only time spent on thoughts of good wishes for the people of Japan. Often, our time can be better spent than in furthering our own selfish wants and needs.
For those of us here in America, it could be worse.