Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Collective Empathy

It’s taken me a few days to compose anything like a coherent thought about what’s going on in Japan.   Devastation like this hits us in ways that are hard to articulate.  It reminds us of how deeply connected we all are just by being human together.  We watch one another hurt and think of how it would hurt to be in that space, and voila – the blessing and curse of empathy.   The blessing is that we care about one another, and the curse is the same thing.  We are rendered helpless in the face of such massive pain, loss, fear, and anguish.  Every time we gasp in collective horror at something like this – at the earthquake in Haiti, at Katrina, and so forth – I remember that I am small and minimally capable of affecting real change in the world.  But then I remember that there are millions of people who feel the exact same way I do.  And we are more than the sum of our inadequate well-wishing.   We can help.

Give, pray, serve, learn, and hope.


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