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Triviality and meaninglessness

Instead of a countdown to the New Year, it was a "count up" of the death toll of the victims of the earthquake that struck Indonesia and the tidal waves that shocked the coasts of Asia and Africa.

In times like this, I feel a certain triviality and meaninglessness in my own existence. It couldn't have happened to me, for I was nowhere near the gigantic tremor nor the incredible tsunami. I did not know anyone that was a victim or a close relative or friend of a victim. Why should I follow the news and let it affect me so?

Globalisation has made the world smaller and its inhabitants more dependent on each other. Powerful media captures what happens in an instant, broadcasting the gruesome details to the other side of the planet. In our cosy, centrally heated homes, we watch helplessly at survivors mourning the dead and fighting their wounds.

In our helplessness, we wonder how it could be that we the living, the unscathed, still complain about the imperfections in our lives. What is the point, I ask. How can we continue to indulge the way we do when our fellow beings suffer in another part of the world?

At the same time, I question the value of being who I am and doing what I do. If I were a medical doctor, I'd be useful. If I were reporting news, I'd be useful. But a musician? How can music help at this time?

1 January 2005 Saturday

Related links:
Quake and tsunami
Tsunami among world's worst disasters (BBC News)
Reader reaction:
Musicians can help. Hundreds of musicians, some as famous as late Teresa Teng, are playing instruments and singing songs in charity concerts asking listeners in China, HK and Taiwan to donate money to tsunami victims. So far, millions of NT donated.
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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