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Prayers from a small island nation

Without sounding callous, I just wish to say that I am extremely thankful to be living in Singapore.

Aceh is not terribly far away from us, and yet the disaster took nary a life here. However, 23,000 60,000 114,000 others were not so fortunate. When the tsunamis struck them unexpectedly, they were swept away into the vast ocean of water, possibly never to be found again. From Indonesia to India to even Somalia, the tremors were felt and the worst is yet to come. With a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter Scale, the greatest since 1900, nobody really knows how to handle a disaster of such scale simply because it has never happened before in our lifetimes.

And since we live on this small island nation, we will probably never encounter natural disasters such as this in our lifetimes. And as we pray for the victims of the tsunamis, we should also mutter a silent word of gratitude that we never will. Let us be thankful that we live in an island that is protected all round by land masses, that we are geographically sound. Let us never take our survival for granted, and as a result, grow increasingly self-centeredness.

I am a self-declared shopaholic. The post-Christmas sales get my heart pounding, which explains why I was trawling the malls after work just now. I confess now that a yummy-looking pair of shoes that I had seen is still calling out my name, hours after I left the boutique. But do I really need another pair of shoes? What would be the use of 50 pairs of shoes, when the money could probably go into feeding a starving child whose home has been destroyed by the ravaging waters?

I’ve never dealt well with large-scale disasters. September 11 had turned me into a morbid, gloomy zombie for days after. And now, as I read the news reports, my heart clenched tightly and tears threatened to spill. But instead of just whinging about it, this time, I want to make a difference. And I can, by donating money to the Singapore Red Cross. They are raising money to fund purchases of emergency items such as medicines and food parcels to aid the victims. Every bit counts.

Let us do our part in ensuring that relief comes to those aggrieved in the speediest manner.

3 thoughts on “Prayers from a small island nation”

  1. My japanese colleague could not believe that Singapore is not affected by earthquake, tsunamis, typhoon and other natural disasters.
    I told her that despite our kiasu education, all our lives we have never learnt what to do in the event of an earthquake, (except to run to the MRT station maybe) she was equally shocked.
    And yes we finally concluded that singaporeans are indeed a fortunate lot.
    We should thank our lucky stars and stop complaining about living in SG.


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  3. ash,
    perhaps we should say that Singaporeans are also a spoilt lot. We should not just ‘thank our lucky stars’ but make sure we are more than marginally prepared for disasters similar to this.


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