Tuesday, March 22, 2011

There was an earthquake earlier...

I was busy working on one of my jobs while Rocky was catching up on some well-deserved rest when I started to feel dizzy.  I wasn't quite sure why at first, until I realized I could feel the strange dizziness emanating from somewhere closer to my butt.  I looked immediately at the shelves and realized they were swaying.

It was an earthquake. 
Those in buildings like us, felt it more than those in houses.

The first surge quickly died down and I wondered if I should wake Rocky.  Part of me was feeling the urge to panic.  Would we have time to get out of the building if the quake gets really bad?  We were fourteen floors up.  While the drop, cover, and hang on basic earthquake procedure was in my mind, I wasn't quite sure if I was willing to trust the building's infrastructure if the quake happened to be a big one.    Of course, I immediately shot out a plurk so friends knew we were experiencing one.  At least, if anything happened to us, they'd have an idea what it was.

Yep, he was deeply comfortably sleeping.
The second surge came (likely the aftershock) and when it struck, I immediately left my desk, slid to Rocky's side and held him in my arms.  I was starting to nudge him awake, while taking note on whether or not the room was still shaking.  Part of me didn't want to wake him if it happened to just be a small quake.  The whole place had already become still and it seemed to be over.  I guess I was worried he wouldn't be able to go back to sleep.  I held him close and decided, if the shaking returned I would wake him.  Thankfully it didn't.  The tremors were gone.  And it was quiet again.

I was still holding Rocky in my arms when I realized something. If it had been the Big one, and the whole building came crashing down as the whole archipelago of the Philippines sunk into the sea or something just as dramatically inescapable happened, I realized I wouldn't feel sad at all.   I realized I would have died knowing I lived my life to the fullest I could each day, loving the man who I loved beyond anyone else, and celebrating a geeky gay life without any fear of whether or not others would ever approve of it.  I still had regrets of things in my past, that was true.  But if death actually came to claim us that very moment, the only regret I would have had would be that it ended sooner than I had hoped.  But otherwise, I felt we would die knowing our life was one filled with love and honest, true acceptance of one another.  I felt we would die with very fulfilled lives.
"Forget regret, or life is yours to miss." - No Day But Today
Still, I am happy it wasn't the BIG ONE.

The social networks quickly became abuzz with information and, non-surprisingly misinformation, about the quake.  It didn't take long for those to be quickly followed by taste-less tsunami jokes, and end-of-the-world fear-mongering from people who seemed to be convinced Nostradamus was "right" (he wasn't) and 9/11 + 3/11 somehow meant the 2012 end of the world thing that has been misinterpreted to be the Mayan's calendar was "right."  It was like the Forer effect, only instead of it being directly relating to an individual, it was finding meaning because one wanted there to be.

I rolled my eyes.
FEAR!!! FEAAR! That's all some people want to spread, really.
Under the guise of helping, all they want to do is sensationalize fear.  And share their own fear. 
I seemed to me people had this deep desire to sensationalize their fear.  Rather than embrace the facts that earthquakes are actually VERY frequent, and like storms, should just be accepted as part of nature which only really need our attention when the big ones hit, people love to talk about Earthquakes as something more like a time bomb that is "MEANT TO COME KILL YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES".   I totally support the idea of being prepared for a big one.  I know of some who have created an emergency bag filled with canned goods, biscuits, water bottles and flashlights.  I personally feel I should prepare such a kit again (I used to have one way back, but stopped keeping one back when I started thinking negatively of life).   But earthquakes, like storms, are inevitable natural occurrences which are not "out to get you."  They just really do happen.  And other than taking precautions or active roles in checking for the safety regulations of your home or place you live in, there really isn't much more you can do.

You can, however, also always choose to go against the fear.

Statistically, there is a bigger chance of dying from a car accident.  But you don't see people going all gaga texting their friends to avoid the streets.  And its not because we ignore the danger a drunk driver or an unsafe driver may pose.  Instead, its because we already do what we can to avoid that threat, and live our lives without fear of it.  Sure, the fear does come if one late night, a drunk driver swerves into view while you're on the street.  And yes, adrenaline does kick in as your survival instincts demand you to move.  But otherwise, we don't spend most of our day talking about deadly projectiles the size of small rooms careening down roads.  We accept cars as part of our life living in the city.
There are literally hundreds of things to be happy about.
If you can't think of any, you need to learn to actually LOOK
We should do the same with earthquakes.  We should live our lives to the fullest each and every day, enjoying everything life can offer us.  We should celebrate the joy of being alive and being intelligent human beings.  We should use our brains.  We should share our dreams.  We should shape our imaginations.

And if the big one hits, while we will do what we can to survive, if every day of our lives was a celebration of living, if death becomes inevitable, we can face that coming darkness with a resolute understanding that we have no regrets and if life ends that moment, it ends with us having spent each and every second of it to the fullest we can.

"The big one is coming..." so many seem to be terrified at the thought.  "Beware the Mariana Trench," some herald.  The Mayans were right.  Nostradamus was right.  The Bible was right.  All were speaking of fear and hopelessness under the guise of "being prepared."  Rather than just throw scary stories about, why not help educate people to the fact Earthquakes are natural events?  Why not help others be aware of how to act calmly and safely during a calamity such as an earthquake?  Why not prepare an emergency kit, and maybe even design an emergency system with your loved ones on how to keep in touch if the shit actually hits the fan.    That would be being prepared.  Hell, those would be far more productive than just sharing around another plurk or tweet about how Manila is built under a fault line.  Seriously. The PHILIPPINES is in the Ring of Fire.  What are you gonna do... leave the country?

Rather than spread fear rumors, why not share actual information.
Valid information.  Enough with "hearsay warnings" that never really help.
Enough with the fear-mongering.  Enough with being terrorists in our own social circles.
Let's be more productive, shall we?

And quite frankly, a big ass comet can slam into us and wipe us all out any time, like it nearly did back in 2001.  Now how are you gonna deal with that fact?  Fear-mongering?  Where you gonna go, fly to another planet?

Choose life.  Choose living without regrets.
Choose making each and every day a celebration of life.

And with that, be religious or not, you will find that you have gained an inner peace in knowing if death cannot be avoided, you leave with no regrets.

I choose to live a life that I celebrate every single day.
Time for you to decide how you live your life.

1 comment:

  1. you can defeat fear with preparedness, shield your loved ones with vigilance!



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