Wednesday, 6 April 2011

When The MotherEarth Strikes, To Live This Way, We Must Learn To Die.

Japan was devastated by 8.9 magnitude earthquake unleashing 13 foot tsunami that swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland and prompting a "nuclear emergency" March 11, 2011.
Many people died estimated around 1000 and 11000 headcounts were transferred to evacuation centers. 
A tsunami warning has also been issued for Russia, Marcus Island and the Northern Marianas. A tsunami watch has been issued for Guam, Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia and US state of Hawaii. Recent analysis of historical data shows that four of the top ten most deadly earthquakes and tsunamis since 1701 occurred in the last decade, including the 2004 Indian Ocean (Sumatra) and 2010 Haiti events. Experts said that this pattern was not unusual. 
For Japan, this tsunami that devastated your country is just a trial, and so long as people learn to value their country and fellow, you will overcome this situation.
 The Moral Value Of It

From one perspective, morality is about the value we attach to every single human life.  That value has little to do with life itself, void of humanity, of the human mind.  Many people, myself among them, leave instructions to their families that will allow them to die rather than be kept alive but unwitting.  The moral value of every life derives from its treasure of accumulated experiences:  the different things we learn, the different people we love, the feelings and perceptions we sometimes share but mostly hide from others, the physical suffering endured, the pleasures enjoyed, the solitary perspective of each of us peering out on the world and its manifold objects, the thoughts and emotions with which we connect to that world and to each other to form a community, a culture, a human context extending beyong our place and time.  We are not really "unique," in the way my kids' teacher proclaims each of her students to be.  We are very much alike, sharing similar bodies and internal machinery.  It is for this reason that we Americans can know every human life has a kind of majesty about it, a high purpose we signal with the inadequate phrase, "the pursuit of happiness.".

Television and the newspapers have focused on the suffering of the survivors.  That is proper and right.  Life belongs to the living.  I saw one man (on CNN, I believe) who had lost his wife and four children, and was staring at a photo album of his family that had inexplicably survived the flood.  The family was dead, the photos survived, and the father needed the photographic images as a token of what was lost, much as CNN used the father as a token.  

Does morality enter the picture at all?  I think it does.  From a different perspective, morality is about the human confrontation with evil, and the tsunami, while a natural force, has worked great evil.  How are we to face this evil?  Not a question for a moment, but for an entire way of life.

To be free, we must learn to live a certain way, to embrace an optimistic morality that expands the circle of freedom with right behavior.

To live this way, we must learn to die.

No comments:

Post a Comment