|Many ways to help those in need|
There are times in people’s lives when they are tested to an extent they never thought possible. Their strength, will and endurance are called into question and some may give up merely at the sight of the impending tasks. Many people in Asia are now facing such challenges on a magnitude few have ever seen.
An earthquake off the coast of Aceh Province in Indonesia triggered a tsunami that hit 12 countries and has killed more than 155,000, as of Thursday. More than 20 other countries have suffered casualties, and there have been 16 confirmed deaths of United States citizens.
There are many who equate this disaster to the attacks on September 11, but it is very different. Americans can blame the terrorists for the attacks or even the government if they wanted to, but the tsunami victims have no one to blame but nature. Such an arbitrary catastrophe can create fear and insecurity because it reminds the survivors of how fragile life is. It is OK to view life as fragile because it is, but finding that our crystalline lives are worth living is something we often cannot do on our own. A kind word, expression of compassion or simply the presence of a person who cares can be more than enough to confirm our value as human beings.
We must all endure hardship, for that which does not kill us makes us stronger. But it is better to strengthen one’s character and soul with a “spotter” rather than alone. The people of Southeast Asia can use the help of anyone who can give it. The Red Cross, Mercy Corps., various church organizations and many others are sending volunteers to help rebuild in the wake of this disaster and all are readily accepting more volunteers. People can help by making donations online to aid in the relief effort. Congress just passed legislation that allows people to make tax deductions on their ‘04 taxes for donations given this January. Food packages must be assembled to send to the victims. There are many ways we can help those in need.
But if you feel you’re not up to the challenge, then it’s OK to practice here at home. Look for the people in your life who need a spotter, for they may return the favor when the weight of life is too much for you.