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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Losing Everything , Noose Or Opportunity ?

The Great Kobe Earthquake , 6.8 on the Richter scale hit the city of Kobe in January 1995 . It was the largest urban earthquake to hit Japan since 1923. Close to 6,000 died, many plummeting to their deaths from elevated highways and bridges . Forty thousand more were seriously injured .Over 55,000 homes crumpled and fell sprawled across streets. Severe damage and flash fires rendered another 55,000 homes incapable of salvage . Half a million more people were made homeless. Dazed survivors - newly- made orphans , widows , homeless , injured scurried for safety onto smoke-filled , buckled streets , huddled in blankets and in askance "Why us?" .
On our home front here the number of unemployed has crossed the 15-million figure of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Experts forecast that one in eight Americans may be without an income by year's end. Rising homelessness - more than 5.5 million families have lost their homes since the crisis kicked-in - and bankruptcies threaten to tear up even more of the fabric. Furthermore with plunging real estate values the equity in our homes is being evaporated before our very eyes.

Survivalists say sometime in the course of our lives, maybe weekly , we must sit back to .... imagine . IMAGINE losing everything of value to us - job termination , our home burnt to the ground with all of our possessions , creeping cancer or the death of a child. Why this dreary bit in the midst of all this ? The argument is that everything we have in our lives now though we have put together , toiled for and fought for maybe even inherited is not for keeps forever. We can't lock them up in our grasp for all of our days on earth .To get to feeling that we 'have it all' and need never worry nor be vigilant is folly! Neither can we 'lock in' our health or breathe of life or forecast and thwart the circumstances or the events ahead in our lives. Anyday any calamity may ride in or all of our assets are put to smoke . Our health could tumble from it's tower. This is not to suggest that you should tune out and go watch movies for the rest of the day or life or wait for a rapture of the holy ! It's instead the cry of the watchman., to be prepared for the worst , not be put to sleep or charmed by the good times and the parties now . It's to move towards changing your state of mind. No one should invite or need a catastrophe to feel what it is like to be homeless or drawing your last breath. But keeping yourself in razor sharp preparedness for sudden desolation , for the worst , will keep you in stock of rafts to keep afloat and live for another day while most everyone else is drowning. This continuos re-imagining the future , of dwelling constructively on the 'what if's' , what can totally go wrong etc etc scenarios will keep you on your toes and enable you to row to fresh shores after an earthquake or move on to new endeavours if you lost your job. There's no salvation in playing victim when you are visited or burying the head in sand or live obliviously now . Remember the sycamore ! The tree has amazing powers of regeneration. Even if you cut it all the way down to the ground , it will always grow back. Even if a small sycamore is completely covered over with sand, it will send out new branches and drill new roots to survive .As it's ability to grow back even under the harshest of conditions, the sycamore has a lesson for us - that no calamity is a noose .We need to pitch for our future now , not when it arrives , to be ready in a split second lest the future gets stolen . To your future ,


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