Some thoughts about the tsunami

Before the Christmas break, I had been planning to fill this post with lots of tips about resolutions and how to set goals for the New Year.
Then the tsunami hit. Suddenly, my own personal goals for the year, whilst still relevant, were dwarfed by the enormity of the situation in South East Asia. That enormous wave hit without warning, suddenly snuffing out 220000 lives, without stopping to ask whether its victims had goals or not.

Of course, I’m not saying that goals, resolutions and plans aren’t important (I am a coach, after all!) – just that the fragility and power of life and the planet are so enormous that they often get overlooked. Individuals, corporations and nations often are so busy looking at their own plans for the future that they forget they are part of a much bigger story. Resources, sometimes millions of years in the making, are plundered for short-term ends, and the great tapestry of life is starting to run short of thread.

I heard a lot of people, on exchanging Happy New Year greetings, saying things like ‘well, perhaps it’s not appropriate to say that now in the light of the disaster’. Personally, I think that the opposite is true: we have all the more reason to celebrate our lives on this planet. Mother Nature (less the delicately wilting flower she is often portrayed as and more the fierce and unpredictable wounded tiger) has given us a wake-up call: a sort of collective near- death experience. We have been frightened, and given a lesson in how miniscule we are in the grand scheme of things – but we have been spared, and what more reason do we need to be thankful for the New Year?

Being thankful for life, respectful of our environment and living with a real spirit of carpe diem (seize the day) are not things we should add to our to-do list, rather they should be the paper the to-do list is written on – the very fabric of our lives. Remembering how small we are in terms of the life of our planet does not mean that we are insignificant or unimportant: by living our lives fully we are contributing towards history. After all, you can bet that if those tsunami victims could be raised from the dead, they would make sure they would never again waste a single moment.

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