Vulnerable. Awed. Frightened.
These were my feelings when I watched the videos of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan yesterday. My own earthquake memories came back to me – the swaying of the tall office building and furniture while everyone is scrambling to go down the emergency exit. It may have lasted a few minutes or even seconds but feeling the earth tremor and shake always remind me of our vulnerability in relation to Mother Nature. With one sweep and movement, buildings and houses fall, boats, cars and roads are swept away, trees and land boundaries are changed by earthquakes and its after effects – landslides, floods, fires and tsunami.
I remember one incident where this lesson was displayed for all to learn. We had rented a mid sized boat to “entertain and reward” the top sales people in our company one summer. En route to an island for sight seeing, we experienced a sudden downpour and turbulence which shook our boat and made everyone hang on to dear life. Though we had our safety vests and emergency gear, we were not prepared to be tossed out of the boat and swimming to the nearest shore. We all kept silent, held hands and prayed for the dark clouds to pass. All of us in the boat, even the big bosses and top salesmen, were brought down to our knees as we felt Mother Nature’s power and might. We were no different from the men in the olden times who have felt fear in the face of natural disasters.
Even though we have gained knowledge and progress in health, technology, and science, Mother Nature is still unpredictable, and continues to puzzle us. With the sudden changes in the weather and the climate, she reminds us that our presence in this planet is that of a visitor – a tenant even. Just someone passing by and not having a stake or claim in this land despite our land titles. In one moment, all that we have worked for, our business, our house, our neighborhood, even our loved ones, can be gone in a blink in the event of a tornado, cyclone, earthquake, volcanic eruption and other natural disasters.
Oftentimes in the aftermath of the destruction, and loss from natural disaster, we learn the value of love, care and helping other people in great need. And most of all, we learn to live our life passionately as if today is the most beautiful and important day of our life.
What about you? Have you ever experienced an earthquake or a natural disaster?