I have spotted some self-centeredness in myself. It has been on the news for weeks. Somewhere between 600,000 and 800,000 people have been displaced, now living in tents or worse. UN Special Envoy’s have been sent to help. They are unsure what the death toll is. Yet, even though there has been flooding for over 5 weeks in Pakistan, I haven’t paid much attention. Sure, I watched a short news clip once, read an article on CNN, and even said a cursory prayer or two, but in all honesty I haven’t really paid attention to the situation. It hasn’t affected me.
This past weekend something else caught my attention. Hurricane Earl. I was in Missouri, but my house was in Massachusetts, which for several days meant it was in the hurricane’s path. I sat fixated for hours on end in front of the TV, and in front of the computer, watching the news. Sometimes I watched the weather on TV, while I checked the weather on my computer at the same time. I wanted all the up-to-date information. I needed to know whether I was going to make it home before the hurricane, whether I needed to have someone go board up the windows to my house. I needed information so that I could take care of my family, my property and my life.
In the end Hurricane Earl ended up doing nothing next to nothing where I live. I don’t want to belittle what other people went through, because I do know that there were several people who were affected by the hurricane, but I wasn’t one of them. I wasn’t even one of the few hundred people in the state who lost power, or saw some minor flooding, or even had my travel plans affected. In fact, I did make it back to Mass before the hurricane, and when it came through that night I slept right through it.
In looking at my response to these two events, I can’t help but think how self-centered I’ve been. When it didn’t affect me personally, I barely paid attention. When it did concern me I could hardly think about anything else.
I’m fairly sure I didn’t live out what Christ said was the second greatest commandment, to “Love my neighbor as myself.”
I wonder if I am the only one?