Friday, April 16, 2010
Another wasted day?
Every day we get up, attend to our homes and families, go to work, shop, cook and eat supper, watch tv, go to sleep - or is it just me?
During the last couple of mornings, as I clean house, I have watched reruns of those tragic natural disasters, Hurricane Katrina which virtually destroyed New Orleans in 2005 and the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004. The producers have gathered up video footage from news teams and private people which show how, in seconds, minutes and hours, the lives of ordinary folk were changed forever. Tales of bravery, of courage, of loss, of grief - all so poignant to me. We all go about our lives focussing on the minute details of our next decision - and when something like this happens, it causes me to wonder why we spend so much energy and anxiety on superficial issues. The reasons to watch again the stories of ordinary people changed forever are not to be vultures watching other folks misery and rejoicing that it didn't happen to you but to cause an awareness that our own lives could change in an instant and to rather focus on the people and causes which are of real value in this world. How many days go by during which we don't do one thing for humanity at large but just buzz from one personal issue to the next. I have suggested to my daughter who has also been thinking in terms of service to others that she join an organisation where folks gather to help others and maybe its time, now that my kids are mostly grown, for me to do the same.
For a long time, I have felt that there must be more to life than just focusing on my own existence and that of my immediate family, important as they and their needs are to me. I have felt particularly that there must be a more important reason for me to exist than to just be processing paperwork around my desk, all day every day. It doesn't have to be a big fanfare event but so long as I am helping to make the lives of those around me a better place in some meaningful way, that will be enough for me.