A lot of serendipitous things have been happening to me lately. My weirdness journal is filling up. It's been truly weird and awesome.
Yesterday I woke up thinking about a woman I know who's on a great adventure - I had been dreaming of her. Earlier this year this woman asked for 3 months off work, and was granted her request. So she flew away to check out the world. She had been posting fairly regularly to Facebook these last couple of months, and I was enjoying traveling vicariously through her. But not recently.
So a bit later at work, once I attended to things that needed immediate attending to, I logged into Facebook to check her out, only I didn't even need to. The third post showing in my Facebook feed was hers. And it was a link to this:
Please read it. You'll be glad you did.
Pretty powerful, right? An experience that will no doubt change her life in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
Of course she IS one of the lucky ones. Very lucky, in fact, considering these are the numbers according to the BBC today: The 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal is now known to have killed more than 7,500 people and injured more than 14,500.
That's a lot of people, dead and injured. And of course there are millions in need of water, food, and aid, more than 100,000 homes destroyed, thousands living in makeshift camps, many many children separated from their parents and now reports of incredibly unscrupulous human traffickers funneling displaced young women into the international sex trade (on a larger scale than normal). Chaos. Suffering. Confusion.
A lot of healing and help is currently needed in that corner of the world. I donated to Waves for Water, a less well known charity that is working to provide as much clean drinking water to the people in Nepal as possible. Hopefully you gave to a nonprofit of your choice that is doing good work there was well.
But my friend's post was not a call to donate, it was a call to do something more radical than help financially with the immediate crisis resulting from the seismic shifting of this embattled earth of ours, it was a call to acknowledge the underlying vulnerability and fragility we all live with, even though we mostly pretend it isn't there. It was a call to recognize this in each other. To remember that there are myriad smaller battles that people fight every day, whether it be depression, alcoholism, prejudice, poverty, chronic pain, grief, or just a general feeling of unfulfillment or disconnect.
My friend is right: "life is too short to be anything short of fiercely
compassionate. Because you never really know where that person just came
from. Because we only ever have a partial view."