I got up this morning to hear the news that on this fragile earth, there’s another humbling example of the power of nature, over on the other side of the World. So, not really something to put me in a typically Flippant Friday mood.
Japan, a place on the Pacific Rim that’s well used to geographic instability has been rocked by an earthquake and the Tsunami (a word that used to have pretty, figurative connotations when I was a wee boy) of mammoth proportions.
Sadly, the aftermath of such a monumental natural disaster is something we’ve sort of got used to seeing recently but that doesn’t make the live scenes and movie images we’ve witnessed today any the less sobering.
The fact that smartphone technology can now bring these images immediately into our living room, or car, or bus or pub is amazing. It can probably be seen as a bit voyeuristic and there’s maybe an argument that focusing-in on ‘real time’ misery is not the best use of digital technology. However, with these harrowing scenes being beamed around the world, it might help to get the message across that on Planet Earth, we’re just a Global Village. Hopefully, it’ll aid speed of help, understanding and compassion. It could even help on a broader message platform. As Live Aid demonstrated, real life misery, in real time can create real action. Hopefully the Japanese will have the infrastructure to help them quickly move on.
If any of you have been following Professor Brian Cox on the BBC’s frankly astounding ‘Wonders of the Universe’ TV series, which is on the go at the moment, you’ve maybe been a bit like myself. As a young-ish non geeky guy, Brian’s been demonstrating an amazing knack of getting to grips with ‘Life, the Universe and Everything’, His easy manner at the bedside of beyond has been nothing short of magnificent. He’s got erm…Universal appeal…
His programmes have set me thinking, not particularly about the Trillionfold decades life cycle of which we’re a minuscule part of but of matters more closer at home. Whilst billions of Suns burn to certain obsolescence, we’re still set on upsetting various religious applecarts and letting our justifiably important National Identity become sullied by petty sectarian issues. We’re still arguing over crazy minutia which, when viewed at from a Coxian (or Japanese) viewpoint are just so ridiculously unimportant as to be almost farcical.
I’m not saying we should avoid our own homespun issues (although ironically I think in reality, that’s what we’ve been doing), it’s just that we should be putting them in persective. Potholes, Football, Recession based restrictions and aftermath are HUGELY important to some people but come on, It’s not the end of the World.
Perhaps if we reflect on what’s happening elsewhere and look at the successes that collaboration will hopefully create over in post apocalyptic Japan, we might realise it’s going to be ‘understanding’ that will resolve our own issues. And we mean that in a holistic way and not in some Government-enforced spin type of ‘bogus’ community way.
Obviously, we’ve come over all ‘Pause for Thought’ here and with a bit of luck, we can return to the lighter side of News next week.
We’d like to think that in Scotland, maybe if we do spend a bit of time looking introspectively but in a less angry and more involving way, things might just have a knack of working themselves out just a wee bit quicker?
Sermon over, you can now adjourn to the pub.