Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Best Christmas Gift

Not exactly Mister Roger's Neighborhood...
"TACLOBAN, Philippines, Nov 10 (Reuters) - One of the most powerful storms ever recorded killed at least 10,000 people in the central Philippines, a senior police official said on Sunday, with huge waves sweeping away coastal villages and devastating one of the main cities in the region."

Despite the bleak news reported above, I'm guessing that most folks will continue on with their Sunday: Reading the paper, going to Starbucks, hitting the gym, maybe even brave one of the suburban malls to get a jump on holiday shopping. That truth is even more depressing than the storm itself. Even though 10,000 people died, I didn't know any of them personally and so I'm not half as upset, really, as if I had a splinter in my finger. Or worse, my toe, which is harder to get to. Basically, what happens in the Philippines stays in the Philippines. I'm not proud of it, but facts are facts.

While I would love to hop on a plane and go straight to where they need help, I won't for several reasons, starting with I hate flying. Also, there is little I could do besides hand out bandages, and in the process maybe contract an airborne disease caused by the lack of sanitary conditions. So I'm not going, and instead might take in a movie later, and finish the raking I started yesterday if the rain lets up.

Yes, today many of our fellow earthlings are dead. Still, the Sunday Times crossword awaits, along with a fresh pot of coffee. I'm feeling pretty good, despite all those dead Filipinos. Should I be crying? Not sure, but at the very least I should--and will--send money! As for all those holiday gifts in the mall--a donation to the surviving and newly-orphaned children of the storm seems a better choice than another new sweater (which was probably made in the Philippines) or the latest video game.

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