Values 9.0

How frightening that such an immense tragedy half-way around the world could have impacted you in the worst possilbe way. My cousin Pauline had been vacationing in Thailand this past month and just returned last night. She's here safe and sound, but just barely. She mentioned that she and her travel buddy, Julie, were considering going down to Phuket for their last day to enjoy the beaches one last time. They decided against it for some reason, and that decision saved their lives. Those beaches that they had been sunbathing on just a couple weeks before are now completely destroyed by the tsunamis that hit without warning after the 9.0 earthquake.

Estimates are that 44,000 people have been killed. I can't even begin to fathom this number. An immense catastrophe like this brings me down to an odd, sober state where I discover that all my worries are so miniscule and trivial as to be pretty damn laughable. And all the worries of this nation -- the so-called morality issues that drive the overbearing FCC oversight, the bizarre fear many people have of two persons of the same sex exchanging vows of love, honor and commitment, etc. -- these worries of the nation seem so utterly pathetic and completely useless when you see actual tragedy of such immense magnitude strike. We're just ants on a shifting surface after all.

What do our worries and fears mean? I'm sure if we look closely they tell us quite a bit more about our own character than the "values" of those we point the finger at. I'm sure the people of Southeast Asia aren't too worried about the "morals" of other people in their community right now.