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It’s a Small World After All

Earlier this week, twenty-two children died in the state of Bihar in northeastern India.  They didn’t do anything wrong.  They just ate lunch. They ate rice and beans and potato curry and soy balls.  They started feeling a little sick, and then a lot sick, and then some of them died.  It all happened within a few hours.

Stories about tragedies run constantly in the media, and I often skim over them in favor of the shiny, happy stuff.  But once in a while a story hits home, and that’s what happened to me when I read this one.  The child The New York Times talked about in its story, Ashish Kumar Mishra, was five years old.  His dad carried him from clinic to clinic until he ran out of options, and Ashish died at his side.

I have a five-year-old who goes to school every day without me.  No, he’s not in India and yes, he’s eating a very first-world organic lunch his dad or I packed in compact little pieces of sterile tupperware, but at the core he and Ashish probably aren’t too different.  They probably both love playing outside and building towers and making silly faces.  And Ashish’s dad and I have something really strong in common too — we intensely love our children, and we can’t imagine our lives without them. In ways I don’t think about every day, he is me and I am him.

This was an essential reminder that looking outward helps us look inward.  And it’s up to us to keep the right balance between our little bubbly worlds and THE world….the alignment between what we think is a big deal and between what really IS a big deal.  So with that, I’m going to log off and hug my kids.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Lauren Hurst #

    So beautifully written. Heart wrenching but such a good reminder on what REALLY matters as I fret over a 14 person dinner party we are hosting and feel stressed about table linens. First world problems. Thank you for the reminder and perspective. I’ve stopped planning and now I’m cuddling with Emmy ( grant’s asleep. :). )

    July 19, 2013

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