So, I was walking along on the campus of Western Washington University, where I’m lucky enough to be employed, and as I was passing one of the student dormitories I looked up and I saw this:
No, this was not Photoshopped.
No, there are no students currently living in the building, and this, um, device, or whatever it is, is, um, deployed as part of ongoing construction.
BUT, over the next month, THOUSANDS of new incoming students and their parents will be visiting campus for summer orientation, and I wonder if I’m the only person working on campus right now worried about the symbolism here.
Whenever natural disasters happen on the scale of this week’s massive earthquake in Nepal, I suspect that I’m not alone in struggling to fully comprehend the enormity.
The numbers alone, thus far, are staggering:
- 5,000 – confirmed dead
- 10,000 – possible final death toll
- 500,000 – displaced
- 1.4million – in need of food
- 8million – total affected
- $10billion – estimated cost to rebuild, exceeding Nepal’s entire GDP
The photos are hard to look at, the news stories difficult to read, and yet the choice to look away is just not acceptable, especially if you can afford to even help out a little bit.
I was heartened, when I checked Facebook this morning and found a button at the top of my news feed providing me with the opportunity to donate to the Nepal relief effort. When you consider that Facebook has over a BILLION registered users, their gesture could have a big impact.
And then, this morning, I received an email from the president of the university where I work, providing a link to where employees can either donate by credit card or by a deduction from our paychecks.
Finally, Twitter is awash in tweets of prayer and pleas for donations.
Please consider chipping in whatever you can.