Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The World is a Lot Closer Than it Appears

   In my business, as a publisher and book seller, I deal with people all over the world. When Japan was faced with the Tsunami in 2011, the after effect of an earthquake in their part of the world, we were in touch with one of our customers there. He had to spend the night at his job, along with a few of his co-workers (some did get out of the fray before it hit) and wait for the water to recede, and the train to be made right again for travel. He made it home okay.. but we didn't know for a couple of days what happened to him. I don't know these people "in person," but you do form a connection with some of your long distance customers and working associates over the years.

   With facebook I've come to know them even more, and in some cases they've visited our bookstore when they've come through Atlanta. It's usually our only face-to-face meeting, but we have the best time catching up and discusses our love of books, movies and music. It's just like we've always known each other... just through the mail, the internet, and social media. I've got customers that I've known so far back that they were single at first, but now are married, with a mortgage and five kids in the SUV. One in particular is T. in Macau. Yes, that's how I've known him... "T" for almost 15-20 years. Just in the last decade did I find out his first name is "Tim." Now I can put a picture with the face, his wife is in touch for special gifts, and I can see his whole family. I like that.
Scratch that. I love it.

After all these years you form bonds, relationships, and trust.

With all the recent trouble in Israel I checked in with one of our customers yesterday.

This morning I awoke to Moshe's e-mail, with the following communiqué:


Israel compared to the US. I've placed the size of this country
over my own state of Georgia.. which is about a 1/3 the
size our state. Puts it into perspective doesn't it?


Hi Dave,
                  Good to hear from you. I & my family are ok. I live in the North and the Hamas terror organization is rocketing the SOUTH and UP to Tel-Aviv & Jerusalem. My daughter lived deep in the South and escaped from there because of the bombings 2 years ago. They are shelling us every couple of months. They're a thorn in our lives. 6 years ago the Hizballah was rocketing the North, hitting Haifa, my town. A hell to live here, sometimes we are tired and fed of all these political issues. There is no end, no light in the horizon.

Thanks for your caring,

Best, Moshe

PS: Dave, one second I have finished writing you, as if it's not enough - a bomb exploded now in a bus in Tel-Aviv. It's on the news , TV airing from the area. Couple of years ago Hamas used to bomb  buses with people during traveling, killing hundreds in a minute. This is now the beginning of it again. F...king lousy situation. They don't leave us alone peacefully.


Israel is outlined in red.
Moshe lives in Haifa, which is the green dot.
Moshe is a world away, physically, but now I have a face and a concern that is just more than the CNN reports that we all see daily. This is real, and it alarms me. It's a hopeless feeling sitting here in my fairly calm world. At least we can talk, and discuss this and the fiction we love, and hopefully, for a bit, it brings some solace and calm in a wacky world.

I can also blog about this, which I've done here, and put a real face on the horrible situation at hand. People are bombing people. People are dying, and it's more than just the video we're shown. We're constantly bombarded with information. It's easy to become desensitized to so much overload. 

If you're in a calm part of the world, be thankful.

It's Thanksgiving here in the US, and a nation of millions is celebrating with their family and friends, and having a nice day. In this world of real, and possible, chaos, be thankful for the peace we have.
I am.

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