As a kindergarten teacher, I took some time to discuss the realities for children living around the world. We spent time talking about children living in Cambodia, for instance, and about how those children face obstacles that my students did not. Through our discussion, even among five-year-olds, the term "starving" suddenly took on a new meaning. As did the terms "parents," "home," "school," and "family."
I found it . . . perplexing . . . when some of my students' parents made adverse comments about their children learning about poverty and destruction. Don't get me wrong: their comments weren't pleas or demands to "stop now!" Rather, their objections were largely implied, and I remember a parent saying something along the lines of, if I hear [my child] say one more thing about not being starving. On the surface, yes, the comment was perhaps benign and made jokingly. Underneath, though, there was some denial of a five-year-old's - and, relatedly, society's - natural empathy.
The New York Times article below well describes the realities on the ground in Nepal. As we all deal with far-off destruction on our own terms, perhaps we may take a moment to think about lucky we truly are . . . it may just make addressing our own issues easier.