I was talking yesterday to some friends and the subject of the Christchurch earthquake came up. I noted that I know several Kiwis that live in Christchurch, and Susan (the wife of one friend) asked how they were doing. I said I hadn’t yet checked. From there, the conversation went something like this:
“What do you mean you haven’t checked? How can you not have checked on your friends? They could be dead!”
“Well, Christchurch is a big town and they don’t live in the worst-hit part, so I really doubt they’re dead.”
“But how can you not at least check? Don’t you care about them?”
"Sure I care. But my checking on them can’t help anything. "
“I can’t believe this attitude! You should at least try to call them!”
“And tie up phone lines that are probably already overtaxed. How would that help?”
“What’s one more phone call? You should at least let them know you care.”
“Do you think they assume that friends who don’t call them have suddenly ceased to care about them?”
“Well I would have called immediately!”
FTR, I have an e-mail today from another friend in NZ (well outside Christchurch) who says they are all doing fine, despite some damage to their houses and no water.
But this certainly showed a huge gap between my attitude and Susan’s. I wonder if I’m a bit strange here.