Sunday, May 10, 2015

A Higher Level

Nepal Earthquake
Last night I went with a friend to a benefit that she organized to raise money for the victims of the earthquake in Nepal. Over 7000 have been counted dead, and many are injured and homeless. My friend had just returned from living there, and has been actively raising funds to assist the Nepalese.

The reason for such calamities is mostly inscrutable to our minds. Is it just chance and chaos in nature? In the annals of recorded human history, there have been many such disasters, some taking not just thousands of lives, but millions, i.e. the bubonic plague in the middle ages in Europe, famines in India, disease that came with European settlers to America that wiped out millions of native Americans who had no resistance. The deadliest earthquake in history hit the eastern Mediterranean in July 1201. Approximately 1.1 million people were killed, mostly in Egypt and Syria.

"Slave" by Michaelangelo
If we look at the world as a big object of art . . . it is constantly being made. From an artists perspective, I can say this, that often in the best artwork, flaws and shortcomings are discovered as the piece takes shape. For unskilled people, this is unsurmountable and brings the project to a halt or inconclusive ending. But for the more advanced creator, it just propels the process into a loftier, more exalted state.
Often, so called accidents are used by the skilled artisan to get to a higher level than if these accidents had not occurred, because an opening is seen that was not there before.

Is the disaster in Nepal a blessing in disguise? This is from an article that appeared in todays New York Times:
“More than 80 charities and government agencies have poured into Nepal since the quake to work on its well-documented water and sanitation problems. Nepal’s water ministry has held routine meetings with them in its biggest conference room, which is still not large enough to accommodate the scores of people who show up in T-shirts and vests emblazoned with the bright-colored logos of their organizations.
They are coming to a country that was already among the world’s most unsanitary, with a 2011 government survey finding that 45 percent of Nepalis did not use toilets, one reason 82 percent of drinking water supplies are contaminated with fecal bacteria. A study found that about 11 percent of Nepali children have diarrhea at any given moment, which contributes to the stunting that affects more than a third of the nation’s children, according to government figures.
'The risk is that an already bad situation gets much worse,' said Mr. Rautavaara of Unicef. 'But at the same time, this is a massive opportunity for the sanitation movement.' ”
Click for the full article

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