Phew. Today the office started returning to normal, after a fraught holiday season for the few of us who stayed behind. By the end of the day I decided to buy myself a belated holiday present, a Pentax *ist DS Digital SLR camera, which should arrive later this week.
I’ve been researching this purchase for several months, now, decided to wait until after the holiday season, and found a good price from a UK dealer. I already have several compatible lenses, it’s the hassle and expense of developing film that has kept me from much photography.
Isn’t it slightly insensitive of me to make a major purchase like this, when so many people in the world are suffering right now? What if everyone stopped buying and selling, in favour of giving? That could not last for long. No; charity has its place, and I have contributed some, but the world does not stop while Mother Nature rolls over in Her sleep, disastrous as that can be for us little people.
Has the AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa taken a holiday? Famine in Ethiopia? Does life stop when lives end? I guess I don’t make a very good Humanist, do I? Am I an Inhumanist? I think I am just acknowledging a simple truth: when the worst happens, to you or anyone else, you do what you can, and there is little point in fretting about what you can not do. The disaster relief effort in South East Asia doesn’t want my time or my work, they don’t need me to fly over there and pitch in. They want my money, some of it, and that I can offer.