In the wake of hurricane Irene there is devastation from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the Green Mountain State of Vermont. A non-typical hurricane path that has wrought havoc. Cities and towns not accustomed to this type weather event have suffered fallen trees, downed power lines and flooding. The most dramatic is the flooding caused from either storm surge of Atlantic waters or rain swollen waterways. Hillside streams emptying into brooks and creeks running full into rivers already at the rim and still the storm delivered more rain. Bridges are compromised, roadways undercut or vanished, homes washed away and businesses submerged in silt. Mayors and county officials wring their hands, citizens are dazed and the media is shrill: worst storm in 6 years, 30 years, 80 years.
North America has experienced a multitude of natural disasters this year. Massive flooding in the mid-west, 100 degree heat, drought, fires and tornadoes that have destroyed entire communities. Lives are lost or ruined. The mayors and county officials wring their hands, the citizenry is dazed, the media is shrill. No one saw this coming. The natural order is askew.
In the everyday order of things the world seems disciplined, especially in those things we choose to control, our personal lives. There is a habit and established routine we follow. The day is divided into hours and minutes, the sun comes up, the sun goes down. There is work/school and laundry as the seasons change throughout the year. Comforted with family and friends, familiar surroundings, the children get older, dinner is served. The natural order of things. Then there is that one cataclysmic event when the Earth shrugs its shoulders, spews brimstone or roars with a mighty breath. It happens. That is the natural order of things not the isolated habits and insulated lives of sapiens across the planet. The Earth is a living evolving planet and is not predictable. The only sensible prediction that can be made is that there will be change. If we remember clearly yesterday was not like today, the same as tomorrow will be different than today. All of these subtle changes are indicative of chaos. The natural order of things is chaos.
If more people knew about chaos theory they just might exhibit better behavior. If citizens and city fathers understood chaos theory perhaps we would see better city planning and zoning. If the media understood chaos theory perhaps they would stop with the short term vision of the world. The worst disaster in 6 years indeed! In geological time what is that? To find out more about chaos theory click here.Chaos Theory for Beginners; An Introduction In simple terms chaos theory states that all systems are complex and a slight change in any of the components or parameters results in a different and unpredictable outcome, (followers of Buddha grasped this concept centuries ago). Another way to describe chaos theory is with the butterfly effect. In Venezuela a butterfly flutters its wings setting a miniscule breeze in motion. Six months later a tornado forms on the Kansas prairie. Slight changes in the system effect other elements in the system, sometimes with dramatic consequences.
So if chaos is the natural order of things what is to be done? Always consider the Earth first. Thinking Geo-centric rather than Homo-centric will take into account the dynamic forces that affect all of us. To reduce suffering reevaluate your priorities and what is really important in life. My advice is to follow the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. Understand that a disaster, natural or otherwise is imminent. Maybe not next week or even in 50 years but in the larger scheme of things it will happen. If you live in an area prone to mudslides chances are a mudslide will happen. If you build your house on the banks of a river don’t be surprised when the waters rise.
There are tens of thousands of families that have had their lives destroyed by hurricane Irene. Their sadness and despair is profound. Now is the time for those nearby to roll up their sleeves and begin recovery. Now is the time to rebuild communities with better planning. Now is the time to help your neighbor. It is also time to rethink what is really important in this life and where we fit in with the natural order of things.