If there is a New Year?s resolution that all of us ought to have it is to cherish exactly what we have, our lives and so much more. What a challenge this would be for a New Year?s resolution, to count our blessings in life instead of worrying about anything related to the materialism which plagues western culture.
All of us were on winter break somewhere when the massive tsunami devastated Southeast Asia, taking more than 150 thousand lives and leaving millions homeless. It very well may be the most destructive tsunami in history, reaching a dozen countries on the Indian Ocean. It was tragic news to hear right after enjoying the holiday break, and seeing the video footage on the news made the reality even more terrifying.It really is chilling to think of how many civilians of South Asia were killed by just one large wave of water which kept coming and coming, hitting all parts of the coastline and even reaching to South Africa. The innocent lives lost total a number 10 times greater than the student body here at West Chester University! The thought of all these individuals gone in a matter of weeks is really paralyzing, which is why I think we all seriously need to meditate on this reality, and remain counting our blessings in life instead of rushing into the new semester as if this was just a tragic event in the news that just happened and really doesn?t affect us. We
should take the time to not only mourn and pray for the victims, but also to realize what a blessing it is to be alive.
When we reach low points in life, those of us who believe pray to our God to heal us. This is because we see God as the ultimate physician of our souls.
I hold this belief myself, but there is also a time to be grateful to God for what we have in life — sometimes we forget that. Continually I realize that for most of the time I?m praying, I?m usually asking God for something most of the time, when really I should be thanking God for what I do have.
It?s not that we don?t cherish our lives at all. In fact, I?ve met many students at WCU who live life to the fullest. Maybe sometimes some of us don?t appreciate life enough, and it?s gloomy that only when a natural disaster occurs are we reminded of our own human mortality and humbled as people of the earth, thinking of our positive aspects. It is truly a feeling that all of us should embrace and contemplate as we enter the new year.
Finally, in addition to counting our blessings and being thankful in life, we also must help others in need. What?s great here is that many WCU organizations are joining others around the world in raising money to send to tsunami relief funds. Also, this CNN news Web site lists various organizations, both faith-based and not, to send donations: http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/ asiapcf/12/28/tsunami.aidsites/. You can pick whichever charity you want, but I?m going to put in a little plug for Save the Children USA, specifi cally because of their focus on the children. Along with the physical scars come emotional ones, which are sometimes harder to combat. Orphaned children, in my view, are the most in need. A young child cannot emotionally handle what an adult might be able to. In any case, if you?re still looking for a way to help, take a look at the above site for some links. We have so much to be grateful for in life, so let us share our gift to those in South Asia.
Anthony Maalouf is a junior majoring in political science with a minor in Spanish.