This past month saw the displacement and death of tens of thousands of citizens in Wenchuan County, Sichuan, China due to an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale. The death toll is around 68, 000 and counting.
When asked what she felt about this, actress Sharon Stone cited the sub-par (no euphemism intended) human rights record in China, mainly pertaining to the Tibetan province, and summed it all up by saying something along the lines of…well, isn’t this all karma?
Apparently the Dalai Lama is a friend of hers and I personally can understand why she feels the way she feels and the whole karma thing was probably just an expression for the moment anyway.
Buuuuut, but but but but….As I talked to my grandmother the other day, she soberly reminded me (and she don’t know and don’t care about sharon) that the severity of the situation could be more vividly illustrated if I imagined the deaths of say 20,000 infants, even more missing family members, and generally that sinking feeling you get when you realize that your possessions have disappeared for no good reason.
Again, we see a person unabashedly linking the plight and deeds of a citizenry with the acts of its government. The last time I checked, Sichuan wasn’t exactly a hotbed for detaining and torturing Tibetan monks. And even if it was, I don’t think that all its inhabitants participated in the acts. Okay, so I hope you can tell I’m stretching things.
See, I don’t believe in karma. I know history tends to repeat itself in unexpected ways, and that there are consequences with each act, but how is it that the cosmos allows a massive amount of innocent people to be killed for crimes they didn’t commit. Sharon would say that it’s because they’re all Chinese. I guess she’s not bright enough to make the distinction.
It’s about time that people make it important to distinguish between the nationalistic fervour of their homelands and the autonomy of their personal lives, for which they are responsible for and apply to others.
Some thoughts would be nice.