Monday, October 05, 2009

Being Prepared for Disaster

I recently commented on a FaceBook friend who had taken up jogging.  I mentioned that it is important to stay in shape in order to be able to pick up your children and run when the next holocaust arrives.  Some people were very disturbed by this comment.

Is there anything negative about preparing for a disaster?  Should we keep our head in the sand?  I always say, if it happened once, it can happen twice.  When we look back on history, even within the last decade, we see one genocide after another.  From the Hebrews killing the Canaanites, Amalekites, and Midianites, the 6 recorded genocides in Chinese history, the several times the Jews were targeted, to the current genocides in Darfur, Rwanda, and slaughter of the Sunnis in Iraq, the list is too long to even mention here, ( who knows when the leaders in power will choose to scapegoat you or me next?  And what if it is a natural disaster instead?

I remember reading the Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  She described a scene in which her mother got an early warning that the Japanese were marching toward Nanjing.  She put all her family heirlooms into a wheelbarrow with her two children and headed north out of the city.  She walked until her wheelbarrow broke, and abandoned it at the side of the road.  She picked up her children, one in each arm, and ran until her shoes broke.  She discarded the shoes, and ran until the soles of her feet were raw from broken blisters.  She was exhausted.  She made a difficult decision.  She sewed family photos and money into the vests of her children and left them at the side of the road, and continued running.  Like Sophie's choice.  As war foments around us, as long as governments believe war is justified for any reason, you or I may be the next ones running for our lives.  

Does it upset people to think about preparing to escape from an earthquake, flood, or forest fire?  Someone called me "negative."  I guess it is a negative thing to learn from history.  It must be a negative thing to stay in shape in order to rescue your children from potential disaster.  I suppose my critics mean it is positive to think of staying in shape to look sexy, or for cardiovascular health, and ignore the oft repeated lessons of history. 

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