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Events in south-east Asia in the last week have simply horrified and sickened me. It seems beyond belief that an earthquake and resulting tsunami could cause the instant death and destruction of so many thousands of people. The images I have watched every day on television have been haunting and heart-rending.
In one way I have been removed from the scenes of devastation by virtue of my geographic location; in another, I am plunged into the midst of great pain and suffering by virtue of technological advances – and here I think of both the internet and the news media. These events have been very sobering. Living in Toronto, I am surrounded by so many people who came from the parts of the world that have been damaged so seriously, and it is impossible not to identify with my friends and neighbours who daily await news of the fate of their friends and relatives so far away from them.
One of the effects of these recent events has been to truly bring home the fact that all of the comforts and treasures with which I am surrounded daily mean absolutely nothing in the face of a life-or-death situation of such magnitude. I also appreciate that although I must be infinitely careful with the foods I ingest, I am incredibly fortunate to be able to pick through my dietary choices whilst others much less fortunate than I are happy to accept any food of any description in an area where safe drinking water is non-existent, shelter has been swiftly removed, and no family has been spared the suffering of losing at least one loved one.
At this time of great anguish, I offer my thanks that by virtue of having been born in Canada, I have so far been spared the incredible difficulty of living first-hand through a war of any description, that I have more than enough food to eat in my kitchen every day, and that I can spend my days focusing on healthy choices vs. unhealthy choices in terms of food, knowing that my drinking water is very safe. I also join in prayer with the hundreds of thousands who ask for assistance and intervention in this incredible example of human suffering which has changed the lives of so many forever.