A video and a question

I enjoy watching Ted talks, from time to time. Here is one about the resiliancy of the human spirit – truly inspiring (and only ten minutes long): http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_purdy_living_beyond_limits.html

Also, this article by Marina Keegan, who recently was killed in a car crash at the age of 22. It’s called “The Opposite of Loneliness”. To quote: “What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.”

Also, I recenlty saw a talk on Haiti I want to look for and post: What happened viz a viz Haiti is typical of places where disaster strikes: There is media saturation and tons of donations pour in, for about a month. Then the world moves on. Media and money go elsewhere, but the survivors are left to continue suffering in silence. What can we do about this phenomenon? The news industry does not like headlines like “X amount of people in Haiti today went hungry”, because that’s a daily event, because it’s not sexy -and of course, when we don’t read about that or see it on the news, its so easy for it to slip our mind, because we have a million things in our own lives to worry about. In a certain sense, that’s normal: Human ability to focus on our mundane needs, while weeding out things not directly related to them, is one of our main tools for survival. Our eyes are designed to only take in color from certain light-wave-frequencies, thus, performing the task of weeding out unnecessary stimuli at the same time it lets relevant stimuli in. Our brains tend to do the same thing -and while starving people in Haiti is relevant, its our brains natural tendency to place such information below the fact that I need to buy more milk when I go to the supermarket, because one has a much more direct effect on whether or not I am getting the nutrients I need to keep healthy. I am not saying we should (or even could) revamp human nature, but I’m wondering: How do you keep yourself aware and engaged with issues such as global poverty, or other human rights events that may not be in the news, and also, what is the right balance about worrying for yourself and worrying about others?

Shabbat shalom.

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