The UNICEF post to which I’ve linked below shows both the terrible consequences that can be wrought on life by the vagaries of nature and, at the same time, highlights the fortitude, strength and courage that can be displayed by the victims of disaster. The apparently innate ability of human beings to strive for survival, no matter what the odds, is strikingly apparent, not least in the pleasure of children delighting in play, amid the devastation by which they are surrounded.
Perversely, all too often it seems that natural obstacles strike those already struggling to survive as a result of the greed, inhumanity, aggression, religious zeal, territorial dispute or other excuse for obscenity to or disregard of fellow human beings in need. Thus, those already most vulnerable, and who have the least capacity to help themselves are faced with even greater hardship.
Men and women who are victims of such situations have little capacity to resist the horror that destroys their communities and takes their lives. Children are generally completely helpless.
Those of us fortunate enough to live in the ‘developed’ World, do from time to time face hardship and suffering, disease, accidents, sometimes natural disaster or the trauma of terror, but for most of us it is not unreasonable to expect to live our lives in relative safety and with sufficient food, water, and the incidental requisites of a reasonably comfortable life. The main exception to that in our communities is represented by those in financial hardship, particularly the endemically poor or “First Peoples”. However these are generally minorities though none-the-less minorities that need not exist. Neither should the hardship and suffering, malnutrition, poor housing, limited educational opportunities and lack of fundamental needs for enjoying at least the basic comfort and opportunity of life in a sophisticated and wealthy modern world.
It behooves all of us that have disposable income to come to the aid of our fellow human beings when they are in need – and *there are always human beings in need* and usually, in much greater need than ourselves.
So, I urge you to read the article from UNICEF and to marvel at and value the human capacity for fortitude. At the same time, I urge you recognise that we have the resources to prevent and/or alleviate such pain and suffering of other human beings. We don’t even have to put ourselves at risk, as do the aid workers, doctors and others on the ground in these places. All we need to do is to forego a night out at a restaurant or cinema, that indulgence of a new boy or girl toy, or one less bottle of wine this week. Whatever it is, most of us have something we can give up, at least temporarily, So, let’s swap a little of that self indulgence for the sake of aiding the children and others who have none of our freedom, health, comfortable life-style and promise of life without hardship.
Please give what you can.