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Image de la superbe chaise de l'artiste SAB

samedi 12 mars 2011



On February 22, an earthquake that caused at least 200 deaths - with as many reported missing and more to come, hit the city of Christchurch, in New Zealand.

The city was in ruins, with debris everywhere: the horrific shots invaded our screens, worldwide.

The whole country was in shock as it welcomed international help, gratefully. Among the first aid workers there were 66 Japanese who came with 3 dog units.

Isn’t it ironic that the very same team had to fly back in a hurry to intervene on the home front, at the very moment when NZ’s Prime minister John Key was announcing the immediate dispatching to Japan of a Kiwi team of crisis-fighters?

Such is the wonderful solidarity born from a crisis, on a bed of sorrow. Solidarity cares little for administrative borders, does without passports, forgets contentious issues – the slaughter of whales being one that is particularly sensitive to both Australians and New-Zealanders -, as it focuses on what matters first and foremost: humanitarian help.

Likewise, (for once) no one bans Israel from the nations, when Israeli minister for foreign affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, offers Japan the contribution of his country, in whatever field it might prove useful.

It takes a Frenchman (or woman!) to declare publicly that the Japanese are quite able to deal with the matter on their own, or that we lack the necessary equipment that should be shipped to Japan, or that we are overwhelmed whenever a few inches of snow fall on our own roads, and that it must be all our President’s fault (thus entitling him with much more power that he would imagine wielding in his wildest dreams!)*

And I must be very naive, or idealistic, to think that one life is worth another, that a friend in need is a friend indeed, and that a righteous person is he or she who, like a doctor, will never ask from a dying man his passport, his nationality or his religion.

As I live like so many others on the shores of the Mediterranean, astride a sensitive fault, I am convinced that, should a major quake occur, I would welcome any help with the utmost gratitude – and for sure, I would not be the only one to do so.

So, why not anticipate the crisis, and choose to think that we are all dancing on a volcano which is only half-asleep and that it might not be such a bad idea to stop punching one another before it wakes up for good? Before it gets too late, I mean?

And while we are at it, we could perhaps count our blessings and thank our lucky stars that we were able to wake up in a bed this morning, and not on the street, under a heap of rubble?

Doesn’t this sound like a good idea to start the weekend?

At that, I wish you all a lovely lie-in tomorrow morning!

* (Comments found on a French newsmagazine’s website, as I was doing some research on the topic)

2 commentaires:

  1. I so agree Cathie. It is as Thomas Paine said, "My country is the world, and my religion is to do good." And it is as Gandhi said, "Human kind has to get out of violence only through nonviolence. Counter-hatred only increases the surface as well as the depth of hatred. Hatred can be overcome only by love."

  2. Offering the hand of friendship is often the beginning of a better understanding and a better co-existence. At some time in everyone's life there will be a need to accept real help from others.

    There needs to be a two-way process.