Reading news articles documenting widespread destruction and chaos by natural disasters is always disheartening, but today seems even more heartbreaking than usual.,12784349&pg=19

The slideshow makes their sadness this much more tangible. The tears running down their faces forces my own to well up and wet my face.

Think of your only income being ripped apart and thrown away, buried under 4 feet of water. Imagine your home and all belongings washed away. Imagine entire communities wiped out, with those alive left to deal with masses of bodies. Imagine your family members dying, possibly all of them. Or perhaps only the providers of the family. Imagine being left alone or with small children to take care of, with no shelter, and not knowing how anyone will stay alive for lack of drinking water and food. And consider all of these happening at once.

My lifestyle is so luxurious and mostly taken for granted, and when I really think about those going without, I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed of the new earrings I bought, and the junk food I've been eating. I'm ashamed of sometimes thinking my life is hard, or that i'm in any way disadvantaged.

I'm ashamed that my efforts and actions are not extended to their fullest capabilities.


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