Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lessons to be learned from the disasters in Padang, Samoa Islands and the Philippines

The recent major earthquake in Padang and Samoa Islands and typhoon bashing into the Philippines leaving trails of destruction and lost lives should prompt many of us lucky souls living in the relatively safe areas from natural disasters to stop and examine our own lives, especially on the things we often take for granted. There are many things I can really count my blessings for, despite the serious life's challenges and issues I am now facing:
  1. The very blessed country I live in, with virtually endless food supply to the extent where people can start discarding excess food without sparing a second thought about others who are even deprived of staple food such as rice, bread and potatoes. This also includes safe drinking water and proper sanitation. I hate to see food and water go to waste. Thus, I always make sure every morsel of food and every drop of water are utilised properly, regardless of whether I get it for free or I have to pay for them.
  2. Stop and smell the roses. How many of us stop and think that we should be thankful for all the things we have in our lives? I do this often but like most people, I tend to forget to 'stop and smell the roses', as I am also very much caught up in the rat race in life. One 911 survivor I know did that 'literally' on the exact time when the two planes slammed into WTC eight years ago. He decided spontaneously to stop at a nearby park on his way to his office located in WTC on the fateful day. The planes crashed into the buildings as he was enjoying the beauty of the park. On any other normal working day, he would already be in the office working furiously to meet the tight deadlines. This decsion saved his life.  
  3. Treat other people with respect and accept them as the unique individuals they are. You will be treated likewise, if you can respect other people and accept them for their good points as well as not so good points. We are all only humans and we DO make mistakes.
  4. Appreciate the simple things in life. This is probably the most underrated aspect in life for most people. Even for me, until I'd experienced DEATH knocking at my door not too long ago. Now that I am still very much alive and kicking, I try my best to take time to appreciate simple things in life; for example. the beauty of a full-bloom flower and birds chirping early in the morning. You will never know what tomorrow will bring, or you if are going to be alive to witness another day.
  5. Treat Mother Nature with respect and never underestimate the wrath in which she can unleash. With the unstoppable rapid development around the globe, sustainable development should be the way of life for all of us. Do we want our future generations to inherit a battered Mother Nature to the extent she would not be able to function well for our family lineage? We are currently living in a vulnerable environment. It is time for us to rethink our way of life to live in harmony with Mother Nature. 
I think it will be good for all of us to take stock of our own lives (in which I am no exception) as well offer comfort and assistance to the victims of the above-mentioned disasters, which can be in the forms of cash, kind and even prayers. The power of prayers is an excellent spiritual, psychological, and emotional catharsis in times of need.

Amen to that....