Monday, 14 March 2011

Events in Japan: a tragedy or an opportunity?

The news has been saturated with commentary on the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.  Over 70 countries have responded to the request for help; the Japanese premier has mobilised 100,000 from their armed forces to support the north east; and today there was further concern as six months of radiation was released into the atmosphere in one hour due to the destabilisation of one of Japan's nuclear reactors.  However we look at it, it is a natural disaster of epic proportions.  I want to share with you two  perspectives on this disaster.

The first is an article that I read in today's Evening Standard which suggests that we have become immunised to the horror through watching disaster films so treat it like entertainment when actually we should be giving to one of the many funds set up to aid those affected by the recent disaster.  How does that fit with your take on events?

The second is more challenging and is one that I heard voiced at an event on Friday.  The individual's view was that the people caught up in this nightmare had chosen to be there a long time ago - part of their sacred contract before entering this world - and therefore it is important to see the disaster as leading to opportunities to a new way of being.

When I first heard that, I took a double take but then I reflected.  For some time now I have been having a dream in which the world is burning up on the one hand; and is being destroyed by a tsunami on the other.  What has happened in Japan is not new.  Look at what happened in Christchurch, New Zealand recently and if we go a little further back Queensland, Australia.

These are signs that nature is more powerful than anything we humans create.  It offers credence to the view that the impact we are having on the earth is fastening climate change and all that could entail.  From this perspective, it is a wake up call.  We need to sit up and take notice and really look at our relationship with the earth.  Part of the answer is about becoming stewards of this planet and its resources.  What's your perspective on the events that have been unfolding over the past three days?

Photograph provided thanks to this site


  1. Can you explain what you mean by your comment on climate change? Do you seriously mean to imply that earthquakes and tsunamis are somehow caused by human action? Is that not trivialising the scope of the disaster in Japan for the sake of making some "wise insight"?

  2. Thanks for your comment, it is always great to have new people popping by the blog. No wise crack intended. Check out for more info on the link as they put it better than I could.