Our beloved editor had her toes very close to Hurricane Harvey’s spew in August and, with compassion for all who felt his wet wrath including Sandra, it made me think about any lessons we might all learn from such disasters.
Please don’t think I am diminishing or disrespecting the inconvenience and suffering of the many. I am not. I am just waxing philosophical over on the other side of all that because I am absolutely convinced that only good is happening ultimately. I did a bit of research using the good behind Hurricane Harvey in Google and here is some of what I discovered. It’s most interesting.
Disasters force do-overs. On a personal level, we all form habits and where there was once only a scratch on the surface, through repetition, it’s become a deep groove. Some of those habits no longer serve us, but we’ve been at them for so long, we don’t see how they’ve lost usefulness. When a disaster strikes, our habits, our systems, our methodologies get scrambled and we are forced into taking a fresh look. We begin to ask ourselves questions like “What can I do without?” This is all part of the re-fresh process.
Disasters illustrate virtue (or the lack of it.) It is easy to hurl criticisms at public figures whose performance doesn’t suit your mind model of perfection, but do you know ALL that individual is also handling in addition to one particular disaster? All of our tasks require prioritization, and if you think paying your bills, going grocery shopping, taking your kids to dance class comes before helping out neighbors whose home burned to the ground, only you can be the judge of that. Disasters bring out the virtue or the lack of it in each of us.
Disasters demand new respect for Mother Nature. The seasons swirl around us. The rivers and the lakes rise and fall. The wind blows calmly or with gale force. When a disaster happens, I like to think about Power – the Power that Mind has to calm the wind and the waves, the power to stop the onslaught of the hurricanes. Jesus demonstrated this and he also said “Greater things than this shall you also do.” Have you learned how? Have you considered using your Power for this good?
Disasters bring folks in communities together. When disasters strike, the arbitrary and invisible boundaries between neighborhoods comes down and many people pitch in to generously help those in need. The concept of “them” and ”us” seems to disappear and “we are one” becomes a practicality. If this can happen over a disaster, why can’t it become the norm? That kindness IS inside each of us.
Disasters have positive ecological effects. When a forest fire happens as a natural part of the ecological system, underbrush gets cleared, wildflowers bloom more abundantly, and the remnants of burned trees offer attractive habitats to birds and small mammals, and the nutrients from burned vegetation fuels the birth of new plants. Hurricanes distribute heat from the tropics to poles to balance out that ecosystem. Floods eliminate invasive plants, wash away oil spills, and revive crawfish and shrimp families. And drought allows archeologists to discover important and beautiful artifacts long buried under bodies of water.
Disasters destroy the infrastructure of certain elements and give them the opportunity to change their lives. This is challenging to talk about, and, since this too is only for the good, let’s just acknowledge that when some tolerate poverty as the norm and when lowered standards deemed too far beneath that norm aren’t there any more, a fresh new look is forced upon these elements. Grousing is usually a first response, but then a “can we improve our lot” concept replaces “poor, poor pitiful me” and more good than before takes the place of what was below standards. Through redevelopment, property values often improve.
Disasters release good chemicals into the atmosphere and get rid of the stale. Do you know the adage “A new broom sweeps clean?” Or how about that line from the play Oklahoma: “where the wind comes right behind the rain.” It smells so sweet after a good rain, doesn’t it? What has changed? Hurricanes, for example, redistribute heat which can break up bacteria in the water and destroy red tide. The equator would be much warmer and the Poles much colder if we didn’t have cyclones, for example.
The research around the good effects of Mother Nature’s manifestations is fascinating. I highly recommend it. In one of the blog comments I discovered, was a lovely sentence from “Manny.” Thank you, Manny.
“From the ashes of disaster can rise a phoenix of opportunity, knowledge, and hope.”
Copyright © 2017 Pat Matson all rights reserved
Pat Matson’s path of life’s unfoldment has led her into the world of copywriting where she lends her expertise to the writing of blogs, ezines, curriculum and articles with a common sense message for entrepreneurs, especially life coaches or spiritual coaches. Pat loves to bring the story inside her clients representing their businesses out into the world that needs it so. In addition to her copywriting, Pat is a Walter Method Teacher of metaphysics where she helps illuminate Life’s Laws for her students. Pat’s Write Mind is her home base.