The following article was written in January 2005, when a huge Tsunami unexpectedly swept away a quarter of a million people, many of them on vacation to celebrate New Year. The lessons discussed are still relevant today…
All our minds are captured with the events going on in Asia in the wake of the most devastating Tsunamis in living memory. It reminds us of the temporary and uncertain nature of life. People went to precisely those destinations in order to celebrate the New Year, and in doing so, they headed to their own deaths in their thousands.
Perhaps it is hard at this time to see much to celebrate about this sad matter. Nevertheless, the world is pulling together to help, in a way that has not been seen in recent years. It is a healthy tendency and definitely one to feel heartened about. After all the dire fearful moods that have been holding sway in recent years, this change should be welcomed and encouraged.
Since 9/11, the world has been dominated by a a terrorized and fearful negativity. Yet the Tsunami wave, while creating a huge wave of human suffering in its wake, has also simultaneously released a Tsunami of compassion within the collective consciousness of humanity. This force of compassion has been building up for years, just waiting to be unleashed. Sadly, it has had little opportunity for expression, thanks to the fearful negative attitudes of both governments and their peoples worldwide.
However, those same governments must now ride the Tsunami wave of compassion that has been released, or risk being shipwrecked by it and left to look out of step with the times. The people of the world have seemingly been liberated from the spell of fear and contraction that has hypnotized them. They have instead, at least for now, embraced the polar opposite; courage and generosity in the face of adversity, expansion and compassion.
This disaster has stressed the interconnected nature of our world. It is not just something that happened far away and therefore has got nothing to do with the rest of us. It involves us all. There were British, Germans, Swedes, Italians, Americans, French, Dutch and more killed in their hundreds and thousands, as well as Sri Lankans, Indians, Thai and Malaysian peoples.
When disaster of this magnitude strikes, it affects us all. There is no “them” and “us” anymore. Life is ephemeral at best, and events like these make that very clear. As the saying goes, “Man proposes and God disposes”. We wish each other “Happy New Year”, and laugh and drink the night under the shimmering sparks of the firework displays. However, we really never know what that year might really bring. You can say “Happy New Year”, and be dead just days later. Indeed, you may never even get the chance to say it. This was the case for many in Asia in late 2004.
Rather than being surprised, astonished or saddened that such events take place, we might rather stand grateful that they do not happen more often. The era in which humanity has flourished, i.e. the last few thousand years, has been one of almost unprecedented quietness, geologically speaking. Indeed, this may partly explain why humanity was able to scramble for, and gain, the foothold upon which our civilization was subsequently built. The entire human race was almost wiped out during the violent geological upheavals around 10,000 BC that followed the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the last ice age. For most of the time, the earth is far more turbulent and unstable than it has been for the past few thousand years.
We should be grateful that events of this nature have so far only claimed a tiny fraction of the world’s, and indeed Asia’s, population. The grip that terrorism has had upon the world’s psyche, spread largely by governments in order to advance their own private agendas, seems to be at least temporarily broken. Let us hope this can continue and that they can never again hold their peoples’ minds hostage as they have been doing of late. This may be one of the best opportunities that the people of our planet has received for there to be a great coming together. Just as 9/11 seemed to propel our world into a downward negative spiral, let us hope that this event can lead us in the opposite direction. Let it serve to propel our thinking away from fear-based contraction, and towards compassionate and courageous expansion.
In conclusion, despite the enormous sadness that we all feel about what has happened, let us all be determined to allow it to make a historical difference in our lives. Let us swear that we will focus our minds upon expansion, compassion, and the love of universal humanity. Let us put away the self-centered defensiveness, the fear-filled contraction, the support for warmongering, and the willingness to listen to and believe cynical and manipulative propaganda. This is a new day and the Sun is shining . Let’s enjoy it and use it, for the good of all.