By: Joey Uva
Trevor and I sat watching the news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan until the early hours on Friday morning. The unbelievable damage, destruction, and crippling of entire communities were a lot to take in. I couldn’t even imagine what these people were going through. Right in front of their eyes they were losing their homes, loved ones, families, and much of the life they have built.
I picked up my iPhone and updated my status with thoughts and prayers for those impacted. As I scanned for friends who had also updated, I saw many more updates with feelings of sadness, empathy, and prayers. As I read through the comments I realized that when such a catastrophe occurs, we somehow find oneness and let go. We become much more compassionate and step outside of who we think we are and become part of something more than ourselves.
We let go of religion. Whether we are Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, we say prayers for what these people are going through. We don’t think about what our various religions are or are not. We look to a higher power and ask for prayers or say prayers for those suffering. We don’t think about it, we just do it.
We let go of race and color of skin. We think about the pain people are going through and we see them as we see ourselves. We find likeness in pain, suffering, and loss. We have empathy for someone unknown to us.
We let go of prejudice. We don’t look at those suffering and ask if they are gay, straight, or different. We see the loss and its impact on a person much like ourselves. We see ourselves in others and we become one with someone on the other side of the world.
We let go of our small personal communities. We relate to those who are suffering as if they are our own families, friends, next door neighbors. We reach out to those in need and suffering and try to help. We become a global community that has the power to lift up others in their time of need.
We let go of our own small daily pains. We turn our hope for something better to those who are now less fortunate than ourselves. We realize that our struggles are small and think about what is truly important in life. What we may have thought to be a great problem somehow becomes smaller in comparison to those who are now suffering.
It seems when huge catastrophes happen people let go a little. What would this world be like if we let go a little more in our daily life? If we always saw the person across from us at the coffee shop or restaurant the same as we saw ourself.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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