The Many Kinds of Sleep

by Nic Olson

It is 7:30pm and I am tired. Not that kind of tired where you can sit and watch TV and be content, tired. It is the kind of tired that when you want to watch TV, it is hard, because your eyes are heavy and when your team gets scored on, you are that much more irritable.  I am right around there. I’ve only been awake for thirteen and a half hours, but eight of those hours included intense physical labour and the remaining included eating rice and drinking tea. I fell asleep during a safety orientation video today at work, so maybe my lack of knowledge in safe work will lose me a finger or something cool.

I was reading an article from the CBC website about the thousands of deaths in Bangladesh caused by a cyclone that tore through recently. In between paragraphs about a Toronto based volunteer group and the hundreds of thousands of hectares of homes destroyed, is a nice advertisement for DirectBuy, where you can buy new house and home products online for cheap.  A year ago I likely would have just glanced at the headline of this article and went off on my merry way, all heavy eyed and drowsy.  But now, since I have met people from Bangladesh, it is different. Ever since the conflicts in Burma/Myanmar began, I have kept an eye out on the news, but only for the reason that I have made five good friends from that country. Otherwise I would have tossed the news aside like a Hindu would a ham sandwich. 
What am I to do about the situations in these foreign countries that border the place I called home early this year? I can go lay in my bed and drop my heavy eyes and not think about it again. I can go to DirectBuy online and buy myself some new kitchen cabinets. I could put what little money I have saved up for my own pleasure towards helping out three people far far away. Or I can sit here. Indirectly writing about my hate for the Western culture while I contemplate buying a new iPod, camera, PS3. All the while some of my personal friends might not even be able to find mud and bamboo for their homes.
I guess I’ll just take care of one thing at a time. Get a good night sleep.