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  • Bryan Hixson

Tsunami of Love and Compassion

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

by Bryan T. Hixson

The most important current event to a given person is the one that “touches” them the most, and that may not be the tsunami someone else is battling. Hurricane Dorion's destruction in the Bahamas left tens of thousands homeless and hopeless, and yet that isn't the only hurricane/tsunami being battled in the world today.

Image by Matt Hardy

Not long ago many woke to the newspaper hitting the sidewalk or porch in front of the house.  As we read the current events we understood that the news cycle was a minimum of 24 hours, which meant it could have literally been 24+ hours since the event we were reading about had occurred. For some reading this, you will remember when the news you read was a day or two or even a week old. Today we turn on the computer or TV and see the current events in real-time.

The speed with which the realities of our world are seen and heard in our homes is nothing short of incredible. In 2004 many of us watched same-day TV footage of the tsunami in Indonesia that claimed over 230,000 lives. For those who were alive in 1931 the floods of China that claimed between 1,000,000 and 2,500,000 lives were only learned about days to weeks after that disaster. Many in the world never heard anything of that natural disaster which claimed more lives than any in history.

This morning as I scanned the front-page stories on the web and read my emails of highest priority I determined a couple things about current events.

  • The most important current event is the one that “touches” me/you the most

  • The current event most important to me may be completely irrelevant to you​

On a morning a few years ago, the current events on the news didn’t catch my attention. On that morning, what caught my attention was an email from our insurance company declaring that they were denying Holly’s claims on her surgery in December.  That hit me like a lead balloon as I began to wonder how we would cover 15k in medical bills. Nothing else in the news (personal or public) at that point mattered any more as my critical current event was now the most important current event. In fact, I might have described it, at that point, like a tsunami rolling over my spirit.

A couple of hours after absorbing the shock of this personal tsunami I heard the current event that shocked the world and changed the lives of thousands, if not millions, in an instant. That doesn’t suggest that my personal tsunami went away, rather that it rocked my perspective a bit. My tsunami became somewhat of a ripple compared to the giant wave that completely covered the world for thousands.

The vastness of devastation, pain, sorrow, and loss among the people of Japan created aftershock and fear of another tsunami. The earthquake of 8.9 that triggered this tsunami was tens of thousands of times larger than my “minor” tsunami caused by a 2.5 quake. (see Richter scale below)

What began as the most important current event for me is completely irrelevant to those now homeless, or struggling to find their family, or stranded on the tops of buildings, or mourning the loss of friends and family. My 15K dilemma didn’t go away but it did come into a bit different perspective. It forces one to look the Bahamian path of Hurricane Dorion and appreciate someone else's personal tsunami.

Billions looked toward Japan and recognized it as the biggest current event that day and yet for the individual struggling with late-stage cancer, or the mother of 3 children who is homeless on the street, or the parent whose child can’t be found, or. . . Japan’s tsunami wasn't on the radar, and today the challenge of Bahamian's without anything post-Hurricane Dorion doesn't even register.

Forgive me/others for not seeing your tsunami because of a focus on my/their critical current event. May we all be more attuned to the critical current events around us that we can influence with love and compassion. May we be a tsunami of love and compassion for those struggling with their critical current event. May the people of the Bahamas feel a tsunami love and compassion.

Class Magnitude Earthquake Effects

  • Minor         2.5 or less, – Usually not felt, but can be recorded by seismograph.

  • Light          2.5 to 5.4 – Often felt, but only causes minor damage.

  • Moderate  5.5 to 6.0 – Slight damage to buildings and other structures.

  • Strong       6.1 to 6.9 – May cause a lot of damage in very populated areas.

  • Major         7.0 to 7.9 – Major earthquake. Serious damage.

  • Great         8.0 or > –  Can totally destroy communities near the epicenter.