Igitur non dormiamus sicut ceteri.

Friday’s Tremendous Trifle’s: Disaster and Waves

With today’s news of the earthquake in Japan and the tsunamis that are sweeping the Pacific, I’m not sure what mood I’m in for talking about the trifling things of the world.  My own home state of Oregon got hit by waves and it looks like one man is dead as a result of the disaster in the home I remain in exile from.  International news and the cable news cycle allows us to be in a place so that no disaster will go unnoticed and our sympathy’s almost always follow.  The President of the United States has already pledged the U.S. military to provide aid and consultation to Japan and Oregon will receive help from FEMA; this is the only thing I can truly find amazing today.

In a few days there will be fund-raisers, missionaries of all stripes will go and offer help, and we will be asking the eternal questions of humanity and theodicy. I myself will be asking these questions in my own head while still needing to complete papers for finals, finish an incomplete from a previous class, and going about my business. Even in our daily business, though, we still care. This same technology that is such an occasion for sin can be used to focus our prayers and donate money to a good cause. Even the poser-luddite in me is in awe of how much can be done in such little time with the help of technology.

It is no secret that calamities can bring about best and worst of humanity. No doubt there will be stories of looting along with stories of heroism, and this earthquake will give another microcosm of humanity. While I wish no disasters on anyone and pray I never have to live through such a nightmare, I cannot help but to see the greatness of people when they are in the midst of calamities and choose to do good, help their neighbours, and generally act in a way that makes even the most cynical express amazement. That, it seems, is the most tremendous trifle I can find right now.


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