Thursday, October 27, 2005

Disasters are Good Practice

Seems like the last few years there have been plenty of disasters to go around. Between earthquakes, tsunamis, terrorist attacks, wars, and hurricanes we seem to be always on the recovery from one calamity or another.

If there is an upside to all this I would suggest it might be in teaching us the tolerance, cooperation, and charity that we need if we are to continue prospering as a species and as a civilization. World conquest and destruction can be attempted unilaterally, but recovery and rebuilding is a process we have to undertake as a global community.

Even locally, I feel we are stronger for having gone through a repetition of natural disasters. It's a good exercise to have to share resources with our neighbors, and to learn how to drive cooperatively instead of competitively. Amazingly enough, even major intersections with four lanes of traffic going both ways can operate pretty smoothly as four-way stops. Despite reports of the accidents that occur when dead traffic lights are ignored, the rule is actually courtesy, with most motorists cheerfully waving in acknowledgment as they are granted the right of way by turns.

Consider these times to be dry runs for really serious situations that could occur in the future. If, God forbid, the big earthquake finally hits California, or nuclear weapons are used again, or a large meteor suddenly strikes from the depths of space, we will need all our resources, both material and spiritual, to be able to cope with the aftermath.

Practice, let's hope, makes perfect.

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