Friday, March 18, 2011

What The World Needs Now...

This family's entire town disappeared after the earthquake.
I cant imagine what I would do in this same circumstance.
(AP Photo/Kyodo News) Source: AP
I've been thinking a lot about the world as a whole these last few days. I know there has been an awful lot going on for years, but world news tends to fill me with anxiety, stress and extreme sadness. So for my own sanity, I try to tune out as much of it as possible. 

My husband (who does not share my sensitivities) remarked to me last night that it is being reported that there is much less aid being donated toward Japan, and the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami, than there was sent to the victims of Haiti's earthquake last year. Apparently, this is because the photos coming out of Japan tug less at our heart strings because they are more focused on the imminent nuclear meltdown as opposed to reminders that thousands of people are homeless, starving and freezing. 

There have been horrible comments on Twitter lately, ranging from random idiots talking about karmic retribution for Pearl Harbor, to comedians making jokes about the disaster. The lack of empathy may, in part be due to overload (how much more can we take on top all of the horror stories coming out of the Middle East), but it doesn't forgive it. 

Years ago I read an amazing series of books, the first of which is called Journey Of Souls. Dr. Newton's books can be somewhat controversial as they have to do with reincarnation, afterlife and what he calls "life between lives". For me, these books resonated deeply and were profoundly moving. I subscribe to Dr. Newton's belief that we all come from the same place, that our souls have connections to each other and that each of us affects all of us. 

It is not always easy to be kind or to put others first when we have so much we may be personally struggling with. Yet, extending a hand to others is the greatest way to uplift yourself. I remember in the weeks after the tragedy of 9/11 how amazing it felt to be around other people. Do you remember how kind everyone was to each other and how people looked each other in the eye and smiled just because there was another human being standing there? Even in the midst of this terrible time, I remember thinking how beautiful people could be. 

After reading Journey of Souls I remember having a very similar feeling. For a short time afterwards I didn't see how people looked on the outside; all I was "seeing" was their energy, their soul, the sameness that connected us. 

I know this doesn't specifically have to do with parenting, which is what I usually write about, but in a way it does. As parents we are striving to raise our children to be kind, empathetic, generous souls. No one wants their children to live in a world full of fear and hatred and intolerance. Yet, we have so much of that. I don't know how to change such an enormous issue, but I know that I am doing my best to teach my children to treat people with respect and kindness. I want them to understand that the more people we have who truly value that, the better the world will be that we leave to them and their children. 

Maybe Burt Bacharach had it right all along. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing there's just too little of.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on all of this. Leave a comment below, or stop by The Twin Coach page on Facebook to tell us your thoughts there. 

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Christina Simon said...

Hi Gina! I was appalled at the comments by the Mayor of Tokyo (he apologized the next day). I think he's responsible for starting the Japan bashing at a time of tremendous sadness in their country and huge need for relief and assistance. I donated to the Red Cross because I know Japan needs help. Really great post.

mamãe said...

I share your sensitivity to world news. I am scared enough of the effect our city and neighborhood will have on my small children, I just hate to think about the world sometimes.

I just hope I can teach my children compassion for all people.

Thanks for the post.

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