Coping with Disaster

I should probably be worrying about the radioactivity slowly making its way from the nuclear plant in Japan to Southern California. More realistically, I should be concerned for the Japanese people and the fact that after suffering the devastating effects of the earthquake and tsunami, they now need to worry about abnormal radiation levels in their food and water.

But it’s just too vast to wrap my brain around, and I know that if I watch that video of the dog staying loyally by the side of its perished owner I will have a nervous breakdown.

I know that my paltry donations to the Red Cross won’t do much good for a nation literally in shambles. I once read that it is more emotionally devastating to hear about the death of one person than the death of thousands, and I feel truth in that here (which is why I refuse to watch the dog video – or any of those Save The Children commercials).

I feel numb to the growing numbers and news reports and find my mind focusing on the tiny things around me that I can control — noticeably picking up trash after thoughtless litterers, thinking about how to get my doctor’s office to start recycling, trying to figure out who keeps trying to uproot my new tree.

When something so huge occurs – something so environmentally and emotionally ravishing – how do we cope? I’m sure turning off and focusing on the minutia of daily life isn’t the best solution. But I wonder how other green moms are handling the international news?

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