Here I am, sitting in my pretty house, typing on a very nice laptop, with more than enough food and warmth on this sleepy, newly-clocks-turned-ahead morning on the verge of spring, wondering:
How do I get to have the freedom of distance from all the horror and sorrow in this morning’s papers?
How do I get to take a shower, a walk, do some yoga, meditate, write 750 words, do the sudoku puzzle, put a load of laundry in, and plan tonight’s dinner?
How come I get the luxury of pushing “mute” or “off” and then go resume my pretty little life with all my pretty little things?
How do I even have the luxury of feeling nauseous, or crying, or feeling panic or hopeless?
I am sitting here wondering: What can I do? What can anyone do? I don’t have the knowledge or power to cool down a nuclear plant.
I can’t board a plane to Japan and help dig through rubble.
I can wire money through Paypal to the American Red Cross which I have done, but that seems so little in the face of this.
Little me, with my pretty life, and all my things, and the luxury of turning the devastation OFF.
I can be nauseous, but that doesn’t help the situation one tiny bit. Neither does my sorrow, my tears or my anger. None of that helps.
As I was walking up the stairs just now to my cozy lair and my space chair, carrying my nice computer and pondering these things, I thought of the lyrics to, Let There Be Peace On Earth, and especially the line, and let it begin with me.
And although this is very slim consolation, it is something.
What can I do? I can be unfailingly kind. Everyday.
I can resist with every atom in my body: anger, hatred, pettiness and complaining. I can stay mindful, awake and aware.
I can try to broaden my sphere of influence so that as many people as possible can take shelter under my umbrella of kindness. And maybe be affected by it, and then go and affect others.
That’s all I can do. It has to start with me. Every epidemic started with one person and then spread, right? I can try to start an epidemic of kindness and caring and just hope that the “Butterfly Effect,” which states that when a butterfly flaps its wings in one part of the world it can cause a hurricane in another part of the world, is true.
I can try to start a tsunami of kindness and caring that might someday even reach Japan, but even if it just reached Main St that would be okay.