To all my friends in the US who will be directly affected by Hurricane Sandy, I hope that you all are able to stay safe and do not suffer any damage to your property or belongings. I hope that we all are able to make it through this storm with relatively few problems. But, just when you’re about ready to complain because the power’s out and you can’t charge your iPad or you’re going to miss an episode of The Voice, I hope that we can keep some perspective. I hope that we can realize that as we suffer from this storm, we are becoming part of a global network of victims who have already suffered devastation from it. So, here are a few questions you may be asking yourself, or that I’ve heard people asking already, and my suggested responses to them.
How will I prepare? Ask the 40 million people in the Caribbean who were struck by surprise by the hurricane and had no time to prepare.
What will I do without electricity for a few days? Ask the one and a half billion people who live without electricity in this world everyday.
What will I do if I don’t have water for a few days? Ask the 1.4 billion people in this world who don’t have clean water access at all.
What will I do if my streets are flooded? Ask the more than 1 billion people in the world who lack access to roads at all.
What if I have to take a no pay day off of work? Ask the 200 million people in the world who are without work.
What will I do if I’m separated from my loved ones and can’t travel to be with them? Ask the families of the 57 victims in the Caribbean who lost their lives in the storm how they are coping.
What will I do if the water ruins my carpet? Ask the 200,000 Haitians who have already been left homeless by the storm.
What will I do if I can’t make it to the voting station for the election? Ask the populations of the 40-some non-democratic countries in the world what it feels like not to have their voice heard.