A colleague of mine said the other day that her father had recently made up survival packs for his whole family, loaded with food in tubes, each with some sort of gun, cannisters of water and a million other things. He’s apparently also begun building a bunker. You can see that this man knows life is precious.
Despite saying I would try to blog more often, I’ve done the opposite. After a couple of posts I found myself busy again, leaving my poor blog vacant.
But of course everyone knows the world has not been vacant of the great human tragedies that are currently unfolding, whether it by at the hand of mother nature, or at the hand of our fellow human beings.
There’s been the amazing triumph of people over their ruling elites. What started in Tunisia spread to Aikupito/Egypt and now onto many other Arapi/Arab nations. What great images we saw of ordinary people rising in solidarity to challenge the status quo. Of course not everything has been plain sailing in some of the Arab nations which the “revolution” spread to. After taking over half the country from the Libyan government, the rebels are now facing defeat as the Libyan army bomb their way back into control. Little Bahrain has had help from Saudi Arabian armies to quell the popular uprising against the Arab monarchs. Saina/Chinese authorities swiftly clamped down on any signs of the “jasmine” revolution spreading to its boarders. And the human toll is filtering through to Western media.
In little Samoa, a chance for the public to have their say in the make up of their ruling class ended last week, with the general elections ending one 5 year period to begin another. The Human Rights Protection Party comfortably won again. Although this time an opposition seems to have got their act together and may keep the Malo/Government in check. It is good to see better quality MP’s this time round, with some very well educated and experienced people blessing both the Government and the opposition benches. Despite no revolution as some had hoped for, the future looks better knowing there is a much more effective and able opposition in the Samoan parliament.
And so the international political scene has been very active, unlike my blog. But the natural forces have been even more active, with tectonic plates colliding against each other creating devastating catastrophies in Niu Sila/New Zealand and in Iapani/Japan.
On 22 Fepuari/February 2011, a shallow 6.3 earthquake hit the South Island city of Kalaisitete/Christchurch causing further widespread destruction after a 7.1 quake in Setema/September 2010. The first quake hit in the early hours of the morning which fortunately meant no lives were lost as most people were tucked safely in bed. The Fepuari quake however, struck just before 1pm during lunch time for many people, causing over 200 deaths and many more injuries.
But Niu Sila was not the only country in the ring of fire that nature had on its hit list this year. Iapani suffered a devastating 9.0 earth quake close to Tokyo City. In a cruel way, nature thought sending the 5th strongest quake since records begun was not enough for Iapani and her citizens. Within minutes after the quake, destructive tsunamis swept the north eastern coast wiping out many towns, killing tens of thousands as it travelled inland many kilometres.
The quake and resulting tsunamis caused major damage to some of Iapani’s nuclear facilities used to power the nations economy and homes. Today, there is grave concern there could be a nuclear meltdown as explosions are reported daily. Radiation levels have increased in surrounding areas with many foreign nations advising their citizens to evacuate.
Nuclear is such a powerful energy. But with most powerful things, in the wrong hands, or if in the wrong place at the wrong time, it can be irreversibly destructive.
These historical events remind us how precious life is. I remember watching the jubilent Egyptian crowds, celebrating great triumphs. Yet within a matter of days, we saw scenes of death and sorrow as thousands of people perished under the thumb of nature.
A Samoan father was killed in the Kalaisitete quake for simply being in a public bus that was passing through the CBD. The helicopter shots of the tsunami in Iapani engulfing whole towns and speeding through farms was even harder to watch when you could make out vehicles trying to escape along the roads, without success. I have friends who teach English in Iapani and others who play lakapi/rugby who are now desperate to get home as the risk of nuclear fallout grow daily. There have been some images on the internet showing the Libyan armies killing the rebels, the very people we saw celebrating victory over their ruling classes only days before.
It doesn’t matter where you live in this world, life is precious. Even when times are of great celebration, or as mundane as going out to lunch, or catching a bus, life is precious. Even if we lived in the second richest nation on earth who is also the most prepared when up against quakes and tsunamis, at the end of the day, life is precious.
Life is precious. That’s not to say let’s hide and lock ourselves in a bunker till the world’s end. No, it should be a time to reflect and ensure that we are living a fulfilling life, a life that gives purpose, giving it our best. Because if we were to be taken tomorrow, can we look back at our lives and be happy with our actions and decisions? Life is precious… we’ve just got to live it.