Thursday, January 06, 2005


There it is again. The tsunami must have my senses on heightened alert--sort of my own personal "code red"--because I can't stop making comparisons. I can't stop feeling embarrassed about the lifestyle we enjoy in America.

I set aside my writing a bit ago just long enough to make and eat a bowl of Trader Joe's mandarin chicken. I figured I'd check in on The View while having my early lunch. They were just beginning a spot called "Mom Inventions," or something along those lines. The first invention was a snakey-looking flexible neck tube that you could contort until it aimed a bottle at your baby's mouth, thus freeing your arms for more important, more satisfying tasks. I don't remember resenting my bottle-holding duties when my son was a baby, but apparently there are enough mothers out there who do feel resentful that there's a perceived need for such a helper.

Next, they demonstrated a crust-cutter-offer. I've seen other versions of this device in the past, but never during the week of a major world disaster. As the guest pressed the plastic shape around a white-bread sandwich and pointed out that it was simple enough for a child to use, I looked at the half-inch rim of unwanted breadcrust and thought about a plea I heard this morning on the news, a plea from an island-bound South Asian boy who said, "We're starving. There's no food and no way to get supplies. Please send someone to help us. Please send food."

Turn on the news tonight. You'll see mothers with crushed hearts on the other side of the world, mothers who would love nothing more than to "have" to hold their babies' bottles again. You'll see hungry, desperate people who would be grateful for a handful of discarded breadcrusts. And then, as the reports turn to news here at home, you'll no doubt be treated to some heart-lifting human interest story about the newest lottery winner, or a happy botox success story, or a piece introducing the latest $50,000 cloned pet. Isn't it good to live in the land of plenty?

I am getting so cynical. I can't decide if that's good or bad.

5 Comment:

At 1/10/2005 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

Hi Shannon:
It's"Sharon of Oregon".As I am unsure if my life is interesting enough to have my own blog I have to post anonymously(not really as you know who I am now...LOL:-)!I too have pondered this whole tsunami situation.I think even the poor in America are better off than the poor in those countries devastated by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami and aftershocks.The things I have seen people throw away at various apartment complexes we've lived in...items still in good condition tossed aside like trash!The food I myself have thrown out because husband or step-son(or even myself)did'nt like it or could'nt bear to eat it one more day(okay now the guilt is here).These"things"that I am sure these folks so devastated would love to have end up in our trash cans and dumpsters.Things we think we cannot do without...like latte's and cell phones....are most likely luxury items or even maybe unheard of(?) in many countries.Okay I admit it...I hate the taste of coffee and see cell phones as a really long leash...sometimes I don't want to be reached or continually available!I guess I've said ALL THIS to say"yes,it is good to live in the land of plenty"!But I think Americans(myself included at times)can get tunnel vision.There is so much more going on in this world than is often seen...I mean really seen.Life is not about latte's or Tivo or cell phones or___(fill in the blank).Life is really all about Jesus and helping others where we can,when we can.I will step off my soap box now Shannon.LOL :-)Boy I sure can get wordy sometimes(I think verbiose is the word).God bless.Oh,and I don't know that cynicism is such a bad thing all the time....tee hee hee!But I do believe there is always hope and that cynicism run amok can be a bad thing indeed!

At 1/10/2005 8:14 PM, Blogger Lori Seaborg had this to say ...

Ah! Someone who is thinking what I'm thinking about the tsunami. I've been frustrated with the news stations, talking about Scott Peterson getting the death penalty more than they are talking about the thousands of tsunami victims. I don't get tired of hearing their stories. It's good for us to be reminded of how much we have.

At 1/11/2005 7:58 AM, Blogger shannon had this to say ...

Thank you, Sharon and Lori. I'm glad to know others are observing these things. I have to add that right after I posted that entry, I started hearing news reports about the millions that have come in for tsunami relief by private donations. That lifted my mood considerably. I still think most of us either have no concept of the vast differences in our standard of living, or we know but choose to ignore it.

Sharon, I loved your description of a cell phone as being a long leash. :) I have a similar disdain for phones. I MUCH prefer email.

At 1/11/2005 1:06 PM, Blogger Lori Seaborg had this to say ...

I have that same disdain for phones! I just had to write in and say that. It's hard to find someone who dislikes them as much as I do. I'm always saying, "Do you have email?" Could it be that we like emails because we write better than we talk? Enjoying your blog!

At 1/12/2005 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous had this to say ...

Hi Shannon(and others),
It's Sharon of Oregon(again).I can definitely say I write better than I talk....LOL:-)However my husband says I always have soooo much to say on any given topic that I should write a book or have a radio or tv talk show!!I do not disdain all phones as I need one to use my computer(yes,I'm on dial-up..archaic I know...LOL).I just feel that for hubby and myself cell-phones are an unnecessary luxury.He is on the same page(as I) on that issue.Perhaps it was my years spent as a receptionist that makes me want to limit my availability by phone.Though phones are conevenient I do really love communicating with far-away family and friends via e-mail or a hand-written letter.I do enjoy the occasional call though.Sometimes I just need to hear their voices!And that concludes my thoughts on that!! :-)


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