Friday, September 09, 2005

Learning from 'Katrina'

September 6, 2005
8: 25 a.m.
Tampa, Florida

The tragedy brought about by hurricane Katrina opened the eyes of Americans that they too are vulnerable. Thousands have become homeless overnight. Dead bodies are all over the streets of New Orleans. Hundreds are in hospitals and evacuation centers. Poorer countries encounter calamities of Katrina’s magnitude every year.

Lessons should be learned. We should protect our environment. We should care for our world. It’s the only one we have. We owe it to the future to make our world safe not only from terrorists but also from ourselves.

Life is an endless quest for knowledge. Knowledge doesn’t cost that much. It’s a matter of dreaming and making dreams come true. Life is a struggle to recognize how weak we are. It’s a struggle to overcome our weaknesses.

Alan asked me why development is slow in coming to the Philippines. I said it’s because Filipinos dream small. We are contented with what we have. We are a happy people. We live, we celebrate and we die. We do not work to be rich. We work to live. Most of our leaders are corrupt. They forget that life is sharing with others. They forget that we are all into this life together. We don’t care that much.

The Americans are learning. They care. They want to make the world beautiful. They dream big. They also forget. They think they own the world. They think they are safe. They think they are powerful.

Power, however, is not just controlling the resources of the world. Power is not just might. Power is making simple dreams come true and the humility to recognize that surprises are waiting in every corner to ambush us.

Katrina, like the 9/11 attacks, is changing American society. Tragedies bring change. It brings lessons. We should learn. All of us, not only America.

1 comment:

Yupki said...

ang galeng galeng naman. lessons aside, alam mo what struck me while watching the news on the katrina devastation, that people in the so-called third world have more resiliency and spirit to fight things like this. perhaps that's because we are poor, we are used to making do with what we have, picking up the pieces and moving on. ilang taga quezon ba yung naglakad sa ulan at baha para lang malayo sa landslides? at ilang mga kababayan ba nila na kahit mahirap ay handang tumulong sa kanila?

yes we are poor and we may dream small. but we also have big, strong hearts and spirits.