It is easy to feel compassion after a single, sad, death. But it is impossible to identify oneself with the feelings around more than 130,000 deaths. Only God can do that. But I began yesterday to imagine what it might be like if all my siblings, my parents, and my partner were dead, my home was smashed to matchwood and the wreckage covered in mud, all my clothes gone except the ones that I stood in, and those were dirty with mud. Then I would have to imagine that I was hungry, thirsty, sick and penniless.
And let’s not forget, horrible as the tsumami disaster is, that millions are dying of HIV/AIDS in Africa and Asia.
Like many other Australians, I have been to a couple of the places now smashed by tsunamis. I reminds me of how vulnerable and mortal we are on this earth. It’s amazing that the earth is as stable at its is. The massive destruction of the last few days was due to the greatest earthquake in forty years; yet this was a movement of only ten metres in a small part of the earth’s crust, not much when you consider the size of the earth and the fact that most of its interior is molten. Our planet is fragile. We must limit the damage we inflict on it. The tsunamis remind us of the insanity of allowing the oceans to rise through atmospheric warming.