Whether it’s Ketsana or Katrina, human suffering are the same: things and people once so attached are now gone.



Anger (at governmental slow responses).

After Katrina, I went to the refugee shelters in Houston to hand out free calling cards.

I remember the cover of TIME showing lines of cars leaving Houston of what was thought to be the second leg of Katrina.

Ketsana, after devastating Manila, went on to  Da Nang, Vietnam‘s fourth largest city,  and claimed almost 100 lives.

Typhoon and tornado, hurricane and hurry-up to get out-of-town (evacuation).

All of the sudden, it’s you showing up on the Evening News. The viewers become the viewed.

(as of this edit, Indonesian quake claimed 777 lives while Typhoon Haiyan is sweeping over the Philippines).

I watched those film footage of the Boat People dying at sea back in 1981, and off we ( two other guys and I ) went

(as Relief volunteers for the summer).

I never believed in sitting back, in commenting or wishful thinking.

Just do it.

Human suffering need a helping hand, a kind word and “survival English”.

Refugees need resettlement, not rhetoric.  (Currently, people are complaining that those trailers to shelter Katrina refugees made them sick). The solution has become the problem.

In the aftermath of a disaster, we find both  the absence of danger and the lack of public attention.

Compassion fatigue sets in.

Thus, one is to strike when the iron is still hot.

Red (hot) Cross.

Send in soup, sweaters and some sweet.

Show them the kindness of strangers (after all, we all belong to the human family, having one and the same Ancestor).

Pay forward. Some day, your kids and mine will receive back ten folds. It’s the best investment we will ever make.

The fabrics and tapestry of empathy. There is a Vietnamese saying which goes ” a slice of pizza when hungry is worth the whole when full”.  It’s the season of catastrophe, but the season for compassion.


One thought on “K-atastrophe

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