I'm speaking of the deaths from AIDS, in Africa, over the last month. Next month, there will be the same count, and the month after that. But it was the recent tsunami that grabbed our attention. It had the advantage of appearing in the news on a day most of us had a little more time to pay attention. There was no way we could argue they had brought this on themselves. Plus, the deaths were not spread over 30 days, but mostly in one horrific moment, captured in eyewitness accounts and amateur videos and spread through blogs and then countless news specials.
There was an article in a local paper recently that suggested the recent tsuanami had networked us even more into McLuhan's Global Village. Cyberspace, while often criticized for dehumanizing and depersonalizing our interactions with one another, can also extend our virtual bodies around the world. We were nomadic food gatherers in the past, but now
Men are suddenly nomadic gatherers of knowledge [.] informed as never before [.] involved in the social process as never before; since with electricity we extend our central nervous system globally. --Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 1964, pp. 310-311
I would hope this connection to the rest of the world, and our support, is not shortlived. That we have found a new awareness, and the ability to share and help others a little bit more. I believe we are here for more than just to suffer and pray for the joy of a peaceful after-life. Or own the biggest house on the block, the biggest SUV, the biggest wide screen TV, have our kids in all the activities we wanted to be in. I believe we are here to make a difference for the better, each in our own small way. That positive difference will be the part of you that continues after death, and the real measure of your worth.