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The Culture of Tradegy : Tsunami 2005

posted Oct 23, 2010, 2:14 AM by Diana Rohini LaVigne   [ updated Oct 23, 2010, 2:14 AM ]

By Diana Rohini La Vigne


In over ten years of being a journalist, I’ve never had a writer’s block until the Tsumani hit the South Asian coast. I suddenly had no interest in writing.  My heart was empty and soul incomplete as though I was carrying the weight of those souls tormented by their personal losses.  As the events unfolded on televisions worldwide, I even had trouble crafting an email to inquire about my Asian-based friend’s whereabouts and safety.  I was so frightened to find out my worst nightmares were true.  But at midnight on the eve of my column’s deadline, I can only deliver words that reflect the Tsunami, not a typically high spirited arts related article.


At times like these, one searches for the meaning of such devastation and destruction.  But through the rubble and tragedy’s aftermath, there shines one white light of hope for the future of humanity. The light is human compassion.  It doesn’t eliminate the sorrow, fear and confusion but provides us with something to look forward to and makes people recognize the potential for global peace, acceptance and understanding.


As the death toll rises and the recovery efforts proceed, you’ll find people of many different races, religions, nations and soci-economical backgrounds standing shoulder to shoulder together.  Each person has a complete disregard for anything but the task at hand. Disputes and century old hatreds have virtually disappeared, even if only momentarily.


A new world emerges in front of our eyes from the tragic scene.  Random acts of kindness become the norm.  Every person walks as a brother to the next.  Every life becomes precious. Numerous heroes and heroines emerge from everyday activity.


Just at a time when many were losing faith in the direction of the human race, this tragedy has brought something unexpected; A renewal in humanity.  This gives way to a new social order and the possibility of a world with a brighter future.


I understand that natural disasters happen and this incident was unavoidable.  I also hope this will be the last massive tragedy my eyes will ever witness.  But I will try to look forward and envision a world in which no tragedy needs to happen in order to show us the way to reach oneness with each other.  This disaster will be remembered for many generations to come. Wouldn’t it be amazing to also remember that lessons learned in it too?


This tragedy has broken down the barriers between people.  It’s up to us to allow the barriers to remain broken down or to actively choose to return to our old ways and rebuild more barriers in the future.


I have to believe there is a chance the barriers will remain down.  Because by believing, I am daring to put my faith in humanity and the possibilities of peace among all men. 


Imagine the possibilities! And then think of the stories we could tell our grandchildren! We will claim we lived during the dawn of a new world order called peace.  Dare to dream with me.