Earlier this week, I watched some of the coverage of the devastation from the earthquakes and tsunamis in the regions of Indonesia and those sights were totally surreal. I watched local coverage of those people who lost family and friends in those parts of the world and couldn’t begin to imagine what they were feeling. And then my mind wandered to thoughts of how everything can be changed forever in a single moment and how fragile life really is.
Many turned away from the news stories and buried themselves in other programming but I don’t really think that it is because they didn’t care or weren’t concerned because it didn’t happen in their areas. I think that it was because they didn’t want to confront the reality of the devastation, the loss of so many lives, the extent of injuries and the photos of all of the people who did survive who were left without homes and food and water and had no idea of how they could possibly keep going. And then I couldn’t help but wonder, what if something like that had happened to me today?
I know how truly fortunate I am. I know that the most important thing in my life has always been and will always be other people. I have the best husband in the world and I absolutely treasure the person that he is and the love and caring that he gives to me every single day. I have only a few family members left and they live on the other side of the country but I know that they are always there for us and that is something that money can’t buy. I have wonderful friends and co-workers and we all look out for one another. All of that means more to me than I could ever express. And that is when I realized that if something like a devastating earthquake happened in my area today, as long as my husband and our families and friends all made it through, we would be just fine.
The reason I know that is that I have seen the power of people united before. I have seen people gather and help one another at times of crisis. No, I am not naïve enough to believe that everyone is that way. I have seen the other side of humanity at times like the Los Angeles riots in the early 90’s. But, even at that time when I was living alone, I did have three other friends who had joined me in my home and we all hung in there together until the immediate dangers had past and it was once again safe to leave the area. And when we left, one of those friends took me to his family’s home where I stayed until it was safe to return to my own place.
It was in that moment when I realized that should some major event occur in my area, I really had nothing to fear. As has happened in the past, I would once again be surrounded by people who would all help each other, those who quite often put the safety of others ahead of their own, those who have compassion and caring to soothe those who are frightened and those who would contribute everything they have to the good of everyone around them. After all, I truly believe that this is the nature of most human beings and in times of crisis, everyone helps everyone else in whatever manner they can.
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