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Recent events make you count your blessingsPosted Wednesday, March 16, 2011, at 3:52 PM
This is the safest place on earth. That's what my dad always told me when I was growing up -- that we lived in the best, safest place to be found anywhere in the world. I believed every word.
He told me lots of things, and when I got a little older I questioned these things and decided he might not have told me the whole truth.
Like that awful red staining and stinging antiseptic that got splashed on skinned knees and made a kid want to scream like a banshee -- it said "Mercurochrome" on the bottle but my dad said it was "red man's medicine" and would cure all scrapes. After the painful splash, he would also say, "It'll feel better once it quits hurtin'."
Yeah, well, later on I heard the FDA got hold of that stuff and put the brakes on. It had mercury in it. Not sure one can still purchase Mercurochrome any more.
And it seemed like my dad's "safest place" got hit with a tornado more often than I'd like, along with that major flood a couple of years ago -- not so safe as he led me to believe.
But watching the news about Japan, thinking back on Haiti, and New Zealand, and the tsunami from a few years ago, Katrina, 911, pirates in Somalia, marauding jerks in the Sudan/Dafur, revolutions in I forget how many countries and a host of other problems around the world, I'm starting to think my dad was right, not about that red medicine, but about living in the best place on earth.
Disasters have been happening forever and they'll continue as always. I remember reading about disasters in the paper and hearing about them on the evening news, but it's so different now. With 24-7 pictures and video online and on cable channels and instant updates on every new development complete with the photo -- it hits harder. One is so much more aware of the personal suffering.
I can't imagine having your home destroyed and maybe even family members and friends being suddenly swept away, then trying to keep yourself and possibly little children warm without heat or power with a snowstorm on the way, and then to have the threat of radiation on top of it all, with nowhere to go to escape and no way to get there even if you had a place to go.
And the news about Japan just keeps on coming. As I write this, all of the workers at one of the nuclear plants have evacuated. By the time this appears in the paper, somehow I doubt the situation will have improved.
As disheartening as the news is, I'll keep watching, and try harder not to complain about little things that don't mean a thing, and remember to count my blessings, every single day.
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