The Soapbox Papers

The Soapbox Papers is my two-cents worth.

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Location: Beloit, Wisconsin, United States

I am a cross between Tinkerbell and Calamity Jane.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

More Thoughts on Tsunami

I have been reading a lot of blog entries and comments regarding the devastation along the Indian Ocean coastline.

This site is rich in comments and ideas - to which I add my own:

Amazing minds at work, great ideas all - but I haven't yet read any concern for the survivors' mentalities the world will be dealing with for years to come.

Not too many of us have lost, in a matter of minutes, everything and/or everyone we belong to or claim as our own. That's got to do something deep inside a person when it is ALL gone, and all he can see around him is - well, more of the same nothing. There are heroes and villians in any group of people: urban, rural, tribal, non tribal, administration or peon - the favorite son or the shamed, all sorts. Dealing with this with no guidance from anywhere save the inner voice is going to leave us with nations of afflicted people - and what will the effect be?

We have knowledge that many of them (dare I say the majority of them?) do not: Each is living in his/her own sphere. I do not think that those in Sri Lanka are aware of the devastation in India or Thailand or anywhere save what they can see from where they stand. They are not aware that so many others have lost as much or more than they, and Lord help those who have not lost as much!

Imagine no communication available to you and a tornado taking your livlihood, your earthly possessions and a family member or several. Imagine seeing nothing but your own losses. Won't you be more critical of the aid you recieve (hey, thanks for the meal and the immunization, but do you have a cow or a shovel or a goat or a radio? And will you be back tomorrow with more?) if you cannot see past your own misery to that of others - literally tens of thousands of others?

There is a mindset among survivors that will be influencing world happenings for years to come. This could be a dangerous thing.

We have no history from which to cull answers. Sending help, being there and offering help, these are what we can do for now. In five years, ten -- how can we know what to expect? When we see the result, how will we deal with these people with damaged spirits?

And who can help?

I shudder when I think of what I forsee: "Missionaries" swarming into the area armed with food and tools and seed and medical supplies and - doctrine which must be (or at least appear to be) swallowed as a condition of receiving the aid offered. (Become one of us, we will 'save'you!)

I want someone to tell me I am wrong. I want to believe I am. I believe permanent damage has been done - more permanent than the damage we can see. It saddens me beyond belief.



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