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Disasters all around

A CATEGORY 5 hurricane barrels toward the United States after devastating several Caribbean islands. Irma is the strongest disturbance ever recorded on the Atlantic. Evacuation efforts are under way, but it is almost a certainty that more people will die and more communities will be wiped out.

A magnitude-8.3 quake, the strongest in decades, jolts Mexico. As of press time, 15 have been reported dead—but the toll is expected to rise.

In August, monsoon rains and flooding wrought damage to South India. Millions were displaced – they still are, up to now.

These are just what we know from what we read about in the media. Outside of the frequently reported events in prominent places, and statements by prominent people, tragedies happen every day and we don’t even hear about them.

And as if the natural disasters were not enough to throw us off, the man-made ones make life doubly more threatening.

The North Korean leader, for instance, is provoking a nuclear war. Because the country is a hermit and Kim Jong Un is an enigma, nobody can tell whether he realizes the consequences of his words and actions. Having Donald Trump meet fire with fire does not help. 

Elsewhere in the world, terrorism and hate continue to justify killings and other acts of violence. People go hungry and suffer from prejudice—due to gender, religion, the color of their skin. Corrupt politicians plunder their nations’ coffers, living in luxury while their people starve.

Here at home, human lives are made pawns in a power play. Suspects and innocent bystanders alike are killed, with or without provocation; success is measured by the number of bodies counted in the name of the war against drugs.

It’s difficult to maintain a calm demeanor in the face of what is happening all around us.

People can protest on the streets, turn to social media, turn to religion or to some other coping device. These times occasion trepidation, and what is even scarier is the knowledge that we cannot do much about where we are and where we are going. That we are powerless is most frustrating, infuriating.

How, then, can we ensure we emerge out of these unscathed? We can’t. We can only live from one day to another and hope the worst would not happen in our, or our children’s lifetime.

Topics: Disasters all around

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