Heartbreak

I know I don’t have anything new to say that hasn’t already been said elsewhere about Katrina but I just thought I would share some of my feelings about what’s been happening these past few days.

Periodically throughout the day I’ll check out CNN.com or turn on the news or listen to NPR to see what’s going on along the Gulf Coast. Aside from the tragic loss of life and the large-scale displacement of so many, I ache when I learn of the violence, the looting, and the utter selfishness and disregard for everything. Granted, this is a very desperate time for everyone down there but does it really call for such a reaction as I keep reading about? I mean, when your family is starving or thirsty or exposed, by all means break into a store to get them food, water, and clothing to keep them alive. But when you are in the middle of a city that is under water, with no electricity, and it’s going to be that way for an indefinite amount of time, why the hell do you need to break into a store and take a bunch of TVs and DVD players?

I was reading recently about the snipers targeting hospital workers as they attempted to evacuate patients today and the gangs and the random violence. It’s too much. There’s no reason for it at any time, but now, under these already dire circumstances, it seems all the more awful. There’s a lot that needs to get done to help those affected. Why make it worse than it already is? It just breaks my heart to see how quickly people can revert to such behaviors and how quickly any semblance of civilization and society can disappear. Where has the sense of community gone? Why does it seem so difficult for them to work together to make life in the wake of this tragedy somewhat bearable as they try to recover? I’m not saying everyone is like this, I’m sure that the majority is not, it just pains me to see how widespread these horrendous acts are – they certainly get the most press, second only to the devastation and loss itself.

And then there is the terrible event on the al-A’imma bridge in Baghdad. Roughly 1,000 people…

I can’t even begin to comprehend everything. Such destruction. Such a great loss of life. Such unnecessary violence. And it’s not like it will one day simply be fixed. SE Asia is still working on their recovery efforts 9 months later. I’ve heard reports of people still waiting for relief from other major hurricanes 2 and 3 years ago. When I was in Cambodia 3 years ago I saw the effects of landmines and the Khmer Rouge in the craters and amputees even 30 years later.

I am overwhelmed…

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