What happens there matters here

I don’t normally do this sort of thng, but today I’m stepping out of my self-centered little blogging world for just a moment.

Japan’s on my my mind.

Japan, and New Zealand, and Libya, and Pakistan, and the West Bank, and New Orleans, and the family down the street who recently lost their animals in a barn fire.

It’s a beautiful, sunny pre-spring day here and it’s easy to feel good — if I don’t listen to the news. Things are alright here in my immediate world. Everyone I love is reasonably healthy. My family has a nice home and a pantry full of food. I have friends who care about me. I have a family I love. I’ve got it made. I know it.

Last night, M was drawing pictures and explaining how the earthquake in Japan shifted the shape of the earth enough to affect the planet’s speed of rotation, enough to shorten every day by 1.8 microseconds.

That’s not just a Japanese day. That’s everyone’s day.

People often say it’s a small planet. I don’t know about that. Most of the time it feels unimaginably huge to me; everything we’ve ever known, felt, heard, tasted, seen, created, and loved is contained on this spinning blue ball.

Large or small, it’s all one thing, and what matters anywhere, to anyone, matters to all of us. A wave generated on one side of the Pacific scours the shores of the other side. Injustice and cruelty in one small village demeans us all. What happens around the world matters to you and me. And what we all do matters to everyone else.

So if you have time today, or this week, or next month, see what you can do to help someone. Send some money to the Red Cross, or donate blood, or help a neighbor shovel her roof, or donate some canned foods to the local food shelf, or plant an extra row in your garden to share with a local family, or give away something you don’t need that someone else does, or call a lonely friend, or smile at a stranger.

Do any little thing, because every small shift in the world in one place is felt everywhere.