posted on Mar, 16 2011 @ 02:19 AM
I'm struggling a bit in how to start this. To convey what it is that has been plaguing me since the 9.0 quake in Japan. No, that is not completely
accurate. It started before that. It bothered me last year too during the Haiti quake, and the Chili quake and the BP oil spill. But this past week
it just seems to be even worse.
You know, I like so many others here lately on ATS had a growing sense these last couple of weeks that something really bad was going to happen. It
was almost like a symptom of our societies illness weighing on us and we knew it had to burst out somewhere soon. Not the quake itself, but the
reactions afterward. It is just so obvious to me and I feel like so few other people even recognize it for what it is. Do you? Do you see it? Do
you feel it weighing heavy around you like an oily smoke that you don't want to breath in but there is no where else to go?
I have posted no less than ten different links to articles and videos on first the quake, the tsunami, the nuclear catastrophe and the horrific
struggle for survival on my facebook these past four days. Do you know how many 'likes' I got? Two or three. Do you know how many people
commented? Three. I have a lot of 'freinds'. It may seem like a funny thing to have bother me, but I have found that Facebook is actually a
pretty good thermometer for our society.
It is really bothering me. Have you cried? Have you looked at the images of people being swept away, the horrific screams of the onlookers as they
watched their homes and loved ones ripped away from them and felt something other than your own selfish needs? Does it move you? Or do you click on
the next link, hit the pause button and instead choose to read about Charlie Sheen because it is just so much easier?
I understand the need for normalcy. I realize it isn't healthy to dwell in a misery that you can't do anything about. But it certainly isn't
normal to ignore the pain of others just becuase it is unpleasant to think about. Last year I was at work when I realized the full terror of the
Haiti quake. I began to cry. It was just light, quiet, a few tears that only a couple of people noticed. When I told them why, I was met with
completey blank looks. It didn't even register on their faces. These were nurses. Parents. People. They simply didn't care or didn't allow
themselves to care. Absolutely no empathy.
Empathy. The capacity to recognize and share feelings of hapiness or sadness of another person. To care. To love.
The capacity of caring that I have seen in most people since this tragedy in Japan began, is whether or not they have to worry about radiation
spreading to their part of the world. Much easier to concentrate on a threat that most likely wont happen rather than the million plus people that
are without water, electricity and food in sub-freezing weather fighting for survival.
The Japanese as a society will survive. They are a strong community built on honor and pride. They don't loot from there neighbor because they are
vulnerable, but will help each other to rebuild because it is the honorable thing to do.
Us? I'm not so sure. I fear for us. I fear for our apathy and sense of entitlement. We don't think we should have to work for our happiness
anymore, but that we deserve it. No matter what the cost. What has it cost you? Do you take care of your parents after they are old and feeble, do
you look out for your neighbor when they are sick or in need? Do you extend a hand to a stranger asking for help or look away because it is just
easier that way?
My soul is aching. It is a physical pain. But you know what? It is so much better than not feeling anything at all.