A couple days ago, I saw a news flash about a military coup in Thailand.
As much as I hate what's happening in the US right now - the stealth war on the First Amendment, the overt war against gays - and what the US is doing to the rest of the world - how many civilian Iraqis have died? - I fully appreciate that I can take for granted the peaceful transition of power following an election. Not so in other countries. As much as you might debate the outcome of the first election that let W get his grubby little hands on power (don't get me started), when we have an election, the results matter. Even when the party in power loses, all they do is pitch a fit. They don't send tanks into the street and nullify the outcome.
One of my editors lives in Thailand. As soon as I read about the coup, I shot off an email to her in the hopes that she still had internet access. I had no idea what I could do for her if she was in danger, but I had to at least offer. I also alerted our writing list. She got many concerned emails. As it turns out, she was a lot calmer about the situation than I was. Sort of took it in stride.
I'm grateful for the internet for a lot of reasons, but this ability to reach beyond borders out to people I know - if only through the internet - is wonderful. It makes the world smaller, more personal, and reminds me how interconnected we can be.