It was a montage of photos from around the world of people suffering terribly. Done with clever little captions like..."If you think your salary is low, how about hers?" Complete with the horrible pathetic image of a sad tiny girl begging in the street-- The implied message of the email was that those of us that are not dying on the street, burned half to death, being held captive without a crime etc, should stop complaining and be grateful. Sounds like a nice message yes?? Well, I had a very different reaction to it-- I was appalled.
This assumption that seeing truly horrifying images of our brothers and sisters across the globe being tortured, starving, at war, limbless, wailing out in pain is supposed to make me feel grateful for what I have or in this case don't have! Wrong.
These images don't make me feel grateful and appreciative... They make me want to die, to scream, to bellow out to God, " Come on already -Fix our mess!!!
I don't get it-- the message we are supposed to get looking at these images is what?.. " Oh God, look at those poor suckers-- wow- I sure feel grateful -- I'm not them..Whhheee! Let's go have a nice big lunch and a walk on the beach and celebrate how lucky I am!" Hugh???
Seeing suffering sure as hell has never served to make me feel better about my life...Maybe it works for some - not me.
Of course, we need to know what is occurring in the world, absolutely--So that maybe we can get to some solution to the horrors in every nook and cranny of this Earth, but to assume that the reaction I should have upon seeing the grief of my global family is to make me feel happy and grateful is lost to me...
The day that I will be truly happy and grateful is the day when there is no more suffering for any of us. In the meantime, I can pray, I can donate, I can cry, I can think and discuss and try to see what can be done.
But please don't send me an email that shows a tear stained, all mangled bones starving child lying in a gutter in Calcutta and a caption that says, "are you complaining about not getting a good nights sleep--he wishes that he would not wake up." And think that this will make me feel "lucky" and therefore real giddy about my day.
None of us are "lucky" to live on a planet where this kind of suffering is happening, tolerated and accepted as the status quo.
God, I want to go back to bed--