Monday morning, a sunny beautiful day, all prepped for brutal week ahead – not really. 4-8 cm of snow expected, winds at 60 km/h and no sand trucks on the roads – it’s spring after all. Welcome to Winnipeg. As I was about to pick up my friend’s kids for school I saw a fire at the Shopper’s Drug across the street, later I found out that the entire neighborhood had no power, several business were out till late afternoon. There went my doctor’s appointment and my day’s schedule. Thankfully no one was hurt and life went on.
In the afternoon when I went to pick the kids up, I was tuned into the local radio and heard about Boston. I cannot begin to fathom what could be gained by hurting people who are innocent and out to achieve a goal that they had been working toward for months on end. It is despicable, cowardly and unforgivable. There was an 8 yr old boy who died – I have a daughter that age. Hundreds were injured, some missing limbs. I have a cousin, a friend from high school and several acquaintances in Boston – God saved them all. To those who lost family or friends, my prayers are with them – life cannot go on normally.
Later at night, I couldn’t sleep. I Skyped with a friend in Karachi. She freaked – felt tremors! In the morning I found that an earthquake, magnitude 7.8 occurred near Zahedan, Iran at 10:44:20.75 UTC on Apr 16, 2013. The tremors were felt as far as Sharjah – where my parents live, they are safe. In Dubai where my sister was at work, she ran out of the building and is thankfully safe as well. My in laws and numerous friends felt the quake in Karachi, they are also safe. In Delhi, India a friend said she felt it too. Life is normal, except for those poor villagers whose houses were devastated by the quake.
The first disaster can be attributed to human error, the second to intolerance of ideas, lifestyle I don’t know what. It is beyond comprehension. The third is a natural disaster. What stands out in all three and any major calamity is the number of people who step forward to help. They do not have money to spare, time to donate or any other redeeming qualities by the look of it, but everyone helps. They give whatever they can, of themselves, their material wealth and talents.
Why does it take for someone to lose everything the hold dear for others to lend a helping hand? Is it that ‘charity’ is just another commodity that is ‘purchased’ to make one feel good about themselves? Is giving for ‘public good’ overrated? Does donating to a ‘private good’ override giving to help a larger cause?
Some people give even if they have nothing or little to give. Others do not give even if giving will make them want for nothing. All I know is that whatever the reason, we should not wait for a tragedy to bring out the altruism in us. Teach our kids that taking care of each other is more important than their iPad, FB or tweet. Let’s change the perception of our youth. They need to be hands on and not just’ tech on’.