Yesterday for the first time I came close to taking a blog post down after I published it. I had written about my “wants” of the moment with glee and abandon. Career wants. Luxury wants. It was fun.

Then I turned on the TV. I had been avoiding coverage of the tsunami disaster since it happened nearly two weeks ago. I’m not sure why. Regardless, I decided it was time to get informed and so I watched a CNN special about it. I sat there trying to absorb the devastation just minutes after writing a post wishing I was in a suite at the Ritz Carlton.

Let me say this. I’m not an advocate of the approach that we should look at people with large-scale problems and subsequently feel ours are dwarfed in comparison. It’s unhealthy and often debilitating because it implies, “My problems aren’t real. They’re nothing compared to this.” Well, a little perspective might be a good thing but denying your problems is not.

So back to the TV. People are vacationing one minute, wiped out the next. Bodies are floating in the water. People are losing hold of loved ones in the deadly surges. The walls of flyers for “missing” loved ones are filled to the brim, reminiscent of 9/11.

But then come the heartfelt stories. The couple using their plane to bring supplies and food to destitute areas. The silent little boy who finally connects with another human being. The son and father reunited. The lone man who survives in his wiped-out community.

The tears I shed were genuine.

But so were the wants I listed on the blog.

The two are not mutually exclusive.