Last night, while I was in bed typing away on my laptop, my 4-year-old daughter came in and turned on the T.V. I wasn't paying attention because I was engrossed in answering a dozen emails regarding products for an upcoming T.V. appearance about "Spring Fashion & The Home."
She nudged me and said, "Mommy, why are those people crying? What happened to their house?"
It's not easy explaining to a 4-year-old the depths of destruction from a 9.0 earthquake and a tsunami, or why this couple was standing in the midst of a never-ending mass of rubble crying. You can't, really. They don't fully understand.
But, I do. And it hit me all of a sudden that I was writing about pillows while thousands upon thousands of Japanese people are barely hanging on from the greatest natural disaster to hit their country since World War II. I felt guilty, sad and then a little more guilty.
On most days, my biggest problems are minimal. A FedEx didn't arrive, an appearance canceled, my cell phone carrier sucks. These aren't really problems, by any means. Of course not. And not to say, I haven't had real problems in my life. I have, as we all do from time to time. It's a part of life, right?
Then one day, you wake up and you find out that someone else is having real problems. They lost their home, perhaps a loved one, maybe more than one. Really they lost their life temporarily, to a certain degree.
The Japanese people have real problems. And even though they are experiencing the worst of times by any measure, we must still go on.
I think a lot of us are feeling a little guilty throughout our days this past week. But, if pillows or makeup or fashion is what we talk about for a living, we need to continue to do so. Not doing so won't help them at all.
Instead, I believe the most graceful way I have found do deal with it is to give. Whether you give of your wallet, your time or your spirit, just give.
Tomorrow, God willing, I will wake up in my comfortable home with my husband, two children and my two dogs. I will talk about fabric and write about the coolest lighting and the hottest spring trends.
Because that's what I do. It's my job. And when I can, I will give. I'll give money and when I can't give money, I'll give prayers. And then I'll take a moment to thank the world for giving me the means to do so.
Thank God for those pillows.