I”m having a hard time watching the news about the calamities in China and Myanmar. As of right now, there are 12000 people buried alive in the Sichuan Province, awaiting rescue. The numbers dead in both countries are impossible to comprehend. How can we, as consumers of news, deal with this information without just zoning out?
My friend Bonita, a holistic health educator, sent out this email below, providing ways to cope. These are healthy responses to tragedy, and can help clarify the confusion and guilt that often come with hearing about world events. Included at the bottom are resources to contact if you are the position of providing aid.
This Saturday, May 17, as people take action globally to support Burma, I invite each of us – in addition to making donations and/or writing to urge our governments to help get more aid to the Burmese people – to take a few minutes for personal reflection.
1. Perhaps we can take a quiet moment to breathe, and let into our hearts the reality of the people who are suffering in Burma and China. Perhaps we can experience our sadness, anger, frustration, compassion, hope… And send the people of Burma and China our prayers. May their suffering be eased. May they receive help and support. May they be comforted. May compassion and justice guide the way.
2. Perhaps we can connect with a sense of gratitude in our own lives. How can I live my life with gratitude for all that I have? For the food I eat, for my health, my family, my friends, my home, and other physical comforts… What can gratitude teach me about how I want to live my life?
3. Perhaps we can extend ourselves just a little to do something for someone else, something that we wouldn’t normally think to do, to help create more happiness, comfort, ease or peace in their life. How could I ease the suffering of someone who I have contact with in my daily life? What could I do today that would help make someone else’s life better?
Below are some links for organizations that are working to provide relief to the people in Burma and China.
American Burma Buddhist Association is accepting donations for Burma:
Avaaz, which brings together internet technology and democracy, is raising funds for Burma:
World Vision is accepting donations for China and Burma:
Info about Global Action Day:
Medecins sans frontieres (doctors without borders):