#ChennaiFloods - Five reflections from the eye of the storm
The state of Tamil Nadu has been battered by unprecedented rain and weather that has just left everyone reeling from the impact. Long hours of power cuts, increasing numbers of stranded people, too much water everywhere...
Here are five lessons that stand out in the midst of all this chaos and are good to keep in mind given the changing global climatic conditions that we can only anticipate to see more of in the days and years to come.
Be Prepared: This phrase may be well known the world over as the Boy Scout's motto but it applies to each one of us and not just to crisis situations but to everything in life in general. It literally has surprised so many people here in Chennai just how woefully unprepared we were and this sudden natural disaster served as a brutal and sharp reminder. We're talking about simple things here, like ensuring one has a flashlight, candles, basic emergency supplies. It helps with all the advanced technology we now have to remember to keep some things from a more analog era where not everything was dependent on electricity and power lines just in the case of a complete communication and technology shut down.
The Good with the Bad: However prepared we are there is of course sometimes still not much one can do in the face of nature's fury. In times like that we need to have not just presence of mind but perspective. Keeping a positive outlook and maintaining a fighting spirit helps one handle a situation that very bleakly reminds us that there is much we are not in control of. The truth of the matter is in fact this - times like this prove over and over again that there is much good in everyone and everything around.
Chivalry is NOT Dead: We as a society and culture shout hoarse about injustices and inequalities and intolerance and it's true we do need to raise awareness and our voices to ensure that our country is better and does better. But a situation like this serves time and again as a reminder that chivalry, generosity of spirit and kindness and love are all alive and well. Men carrying women and children on their shoulders and women volunteers helping otherwise able-bodied men, elders and even animals are sights that show when it comes down to it we have much more chivalry and tolerance than we give ourselves credit for sometimes.
Life is Fragile...But it's also Beautiful: Faced with the high death toll and level of destruction this is of course the starkest lesson we can't deny in the face of a calamity of this scale - that Life is a fragile fragile thing. What we need to hold on to however, is that no matter how fragile, how it can be changed drastically overnight or snatched away in an instant it is still beautiful! No matter the deluge the sun will come out tomorrow (on some tomorrow even if not the immediate tomorrow as was seen here) and people will overcome.
Keep Calm and Carry On: Perhaps, the main thing to hold on to then is to keep calm and carry on. Count your blessings, keep the faith and look for ways to help others carry on as well.
There are tons of positive stories being shared and the impact of social media this time around when mobile network providers and other lines of communication were down has been just unbelievable. This positivity and humanity is what has helped the city of Chennai rise!