“Mourning is not forgetting ... It is an undoing. Every minute tie has to be untied and something permanent and valuable recovered and assimilated from the dust.”
Today, I decided to step back and look at “the big picture.” As the death tolls from the earthquake and cyclone in China and Myanmar, respectively, surpass a staggering 130,000, the suffering of the survivors in these two nations is unfathomable.
To put this into perspective, lives lost from both September 11, 2001 and from Hurricane Katrina in La. combined were less than 5,000, and still the devastating effects of these events will have far reach in the American collective consciousness long into our future. During this time of healing and rebuilding in Asia, the people of these nations will be forever changed.
Knowing full well that a great deal of American industry, and even many of our individual paychecks, in some way relies heavily on the hard labor and manufacturing efforts of the people of Asia, (whose hourly earnings range anywhere from $0.45 per hour in village manufacturing plants to $1.19 in urban areas*). It is appropriate, if just for a single moment, to forget borders, shipping costs, cultural differences, which product is made in America/which is not, competition for labor contracts and so on, and take pause.
On May 19, throughout China, a three-minute moment of silence was observed to grieve and show respect for those who were lost in the tragedy. So, as you flip through this issue, reading up on the important trends, new products and manufacturing processes that are reported on, stop to observe and show respect for the deep suffering and loss of those who may have quite possibly had a hand in your success.
(* From the U.S. Department of Labor/Bureau of Labor Statistics website.)