The global village becomes reality, hopefully

Anyone with a heart has been hit hard by the tsunami and it's aftermath. We have between 150,000 and half a million people dead. What's hit me is both the incomprehensible scale of the tragedy, and the personal stories that are coming to light.

There's a ray of hope though. The global reaction to this huge level of suffering is unprecedented. You have countries almost competing to out-do each other in how much they give. I'm waiting to see if China will try and match the USA. Personal donations have poured in. Amazon.com users donated more than Saudi Arabia. Individual responses are matching governments.

Would this have happened 100 years ago? We now have raw, hard-hitting, up-front and personal accounts of what happened beamed straight into our homes. It's not uncommon to have traveled in those parts of the world, to know people who have families and friends there.

There's no denying the world is a nasty place. But here I believe that technology has brought people closer together on a global scale, and I'm hoping that the empathy that's lead to this amazing generosity is the start of something Big. How wonderful it would be to have nations become members of a gift culture, where status is determined by how much we can give, not how much we keep to ourselves.