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GROUND ZERO PLUS 1203 DAYS,--New York, NY, Tuesday, December 28, 2004--On the angry side of nature, Mother Earth lifted her powerful head from the depths of the sea and shoved billions of pounds of waves along heavily populated shores in Southeast Asia, wiping out in one great day of flooding tides at least 40,000 people.

Earthquake driven waves decimated Southeast Asia on one day ..... while....

On the brighter side of life's coin, today is the 30th anniversary of Hello Kitty. Introduced as a logo for Japan's Sanrio Company in 1974, the kitten with no mouth is sported on some 22,000 products ranging from stationary to clocks and pajamas and generates billions in revenue.

In an ironic way, Hello Kitty is the opposite of the Terrorism facing millions in Indonesia and Africa where a major undersea earthquake heaved and shoved billions of gallons of sea water into a massive set of waves that crushed life and property along the heavily populated Asian/African coasts.

...on another....top model Ai Tominaga, 22, poses with Hello Kitty at the opening of a new attraction at Sanrio Puroland to mark the popular character's 30th birthday

In Sri Lanka, a major resort area, the devastation took the lives of some 20,000.

A series of waves caused by the volcanic eruption in the ocean's floor took mostly the young and old as victims. Children unable to grab hold of trees and aged people too weak or frail to fight the tidal claws, were sucked out to sea as the giant wall of sea water smashed villages and resorts, sweeping all in sight into oblivion.

There is a sadness and horror about the events surrounding the deaths of so many so quickly. There was no warning of the event. Suddenly, the waves appeared like a nightmare.

Mother Nature's Terrorism can be termed "natural" because she acts without mens rea--evil intent. The earth is constantly changing, evolving as any living creature. Inside the core of the earth is a boiling mass of magma that creates gas and seeks, as with a tea kettle reaching boiling, a place to escape.

That's where volcanoes come from. And, the tsunami is alleged to be the result of a great undersea earthquake and volcanic eruption as the earth stretches and expands. The explosion heaved the sea, throwing it with abandon toward the land.

The world is rushing to help the victims.

Mother Nature's Terrorism can be termed "natural"

One of those is Hello Kitty.

On her 30th birthday, a big bash was held in celebration. It included a silent auction of her most precious collectibles. Proceeds from the auction went to Hello Kitty's favorite charity--UNICEF.

UNICEF is the only organization in the United Nations that specifically focuses on helping children around the world. Formed in 1946 to help the children of World War II, it was originally called the UN International Children's Emergency Fund. The name has been shortened to the United Nations Children Fund. Its mission is to deal with the needs of children throughout the world.

One third of the victims of the tsunami tragedy are children.

In her own way, Hello Kitty is providing support. One of her trademarks is the lack of a mouth. Her creators claim she doesn't need one because she speaks from the heart.

There is little doubt the children of the world, especially little girls, beam when their Hello Kitty is snuggled in their arms.

For a frightened child, the warmth of a Hello Kitty can become a Sentinel of Vigilance, a protector of the heart from the pain and anguish of life's often cruel forces.

UNICEF's "2005 State of the World's Children Report" claims that more than one billion children live in poverty.

Hello Kitty is helping children out of that dilemma.

Unicef reports more than one billion children live in poverty

But the poverty of children is the result of the parents. We, the guardians of the children, can never forget that the lives we live are the foundations for our children. If we are to offer our children a better world, then we must improve theirs by improving ours.

Terrorism's three faces--Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--try to quash our belief we can rise out of poverty--whether it be physical or mental.

A child starving from food in Sri Lanka may be no different than a child starving from love in a rich American family

A child starving for food and water in Sri Lanka may be no different than a child living in a rich home in America with cupboards full of food who is starving to have his or her parents put their arms around them and tell them from the heart--"I love you."

Children speak from the heart.

When adults don't, a child is shut down--starved as surely as an emaciated Ethiopian youth with a distended belly and flies buzzing about open sores.

Inside many children is an emptiness, an ache to be loved, respected, cared for by their parents in ways the parent may never truly understand because the parent wasn't given that kind of "inner love from the heart" that Hello Kitty is so well known to offer.

If we look at Sri Lanka and the tragedy of Mother Nature and relate it to our own lives, we may find that there isn't that much distance between the ravaged land of the tsunami and our own homes.

The message from Hello Kitty: Learn how to speak from the heart!

Maybe the insides of a child feel as though he or she is drowning and being pulled out to sea by the rip tides of Emotional volcanos that erupt out of a parent's mouth: "Don't bother me..." "Why do you act that way..." "I wish you were like..." "Go watch television..."

Perhaps Hello Kitty has a message that we all can utilize--Learning how to speak from the heart.

While we may wish to let our hearts go out to the victims of the great tragedy in Sri Lanka, we also might allow our hearts to go out to the children around us....the ones who need us to be Hello Kitty so that we don't become the tsunami to them.


Go To December 25 Story: "Christmas 2004: Exactly 1200 Days From Ground Zero"



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