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May 9, 2007 at 4:40 am #138429Kai-AnParticipant
Tonight I can stand on my balcony and the whole southwestern sky is blotted out with smoke, the horizon glowing orange. This is the second time I’ve been able to see one of the huge California fires that happen every summer here, when it gets so dry.
It’s huge. I can actualy see the flames behind the city and that’s miles away. It’s been burning all day and will burn probably for the next two days. There is ash on my roof and on our front steps. I can see the planes trying to fly as much water and dump it on the fire before it gets too dark and the smoke makes visibility impossible. I see that orange glow and I think “My God I’m small. What are we to go up against something like that- a force a nature.”
Except it wasn’t a force of nature. This particular fire (which had destroyed over 100 acres 6 hours ago, and who knows how many more by now) was started by one person, purposefully. So much power and destruction in one malevolent act. Why he did it I have no clue, I can’t see a purpose to it, but it’s had quite the effect.
Something to think about- how our careless, thoughtless, causally cruel, or even malevolent actions can get ‘fanned’ out of proportion. Are we big on this planet, or are we small?
Kai-AnMay 9, 2007 at 5:37 am #143984JaxKeymaster
It also shows how everything is interconnected. That one act has affected so many lives in so many ways – including in the understand you gained by watching it. So while we may be small, our influence is large, whether we see it or not.May 9, 2007 at 6:10 am #143986inariParticipant
Adelaide, where I live, is very similar to many parts of California in weather and dryness (or so I’ve been advised by someone from California). Every year when fire season starts we have problems with firebugs lighting fires. This year there was a major fire within about 5 miles of my house due to this, I had what you are getting now.
Whether we are big or little on this planet relates to our actions. Evil actions, in my view, always seem to have a bigger, or at least more visible impact than good actions. Good actions seem to be quiter, less noticable, perhaps taken for granted. Still, either way we are all both big and little, big within our personal spheres, and little in relation to everyone and everything else.May 9, 2007 at 6:19 am #143987JaxKeymaster
I think good actions reach just as far as evil ones, but they aren’t as conscious because we’re trained to notice all of the bad rather than the good. If we all started looking for the good, we’d notice that it has the same impact. It’s a matter of perspective.May 9, 2007 at 7:12 am #143988Kai-AnParticipant
Very good point, we are trained to focus on the negative, which is an awful way to look at life. You shouldn’t ignore the negative, but use it to value the positive even more, and motivate you to make a positive change.May 9, 2007 at 11:35 pm #143991inariParticipant
I’m not sure if ‘trained’ is the right term, I was thinking more along the lines of the news media that focuses on the negative, you rarely see a ‘good’ story on the news.May 10, 2007 at 1:04 am #143993JaxKeymaster
It’s not just the news media. We are taught to focus on the negative. we are typically only told are faults and shortcomings, not our strengths. This starts in childhood when we are only yelled at for doing something wrong. It’s a mindset that has pervaded our culture for…I don’t know, a long time. So it isn’t the news media’s fault per se, it’s our entire culture.May 10, 2007 at 6:05 am #143996Kai-AnParticipant
Perhaps immersed is a better word. Or trained subconsciously, because as jax said, it’s everywhere.May 11, 2007 at 1:23 pm #144009IcarusParticipantQuote:It’s not just the news media. We are taught to focus on the negative. we are typically only told are faults and shortcomings, not our strengths. This starts in childhood when we are only yelled at for doing something wrong. It’s a mindset that has pervaded our culture for…I don’t know, a long time. So it isn’t the news media’s fault per se, it’s our entire culture.
Agreed, but there may be an under-lying reason for this. People tend to point out things that they see as weaknesses, that’s true enough, but they do this because they see the strength there to “fix” the negatives. We, as living beings, tend to focus on the weaknesses because that is what will get us hurt, killed, raped, taken advantage of, or make us “lose the race.” We are taught to develop ourselves through criticism. The approval and encouragement should be there, though, and it is hard for parents to find the balance with the kids at times. When I see a weakness in my children, I do point it out, but I also give them comments on how well they have done in other areas. I am told that I am too critical, but there is that reason again. I see the potential for them to develop stronger qualities, and also understand that if they do not, then they are vulnerable.
This is why the media and all other “spin” masters are so successful. People are drawn to conflict because it reminds them of their own faults, their own failures, and their own weaknesses. They are reminded of just how vulnerable they are. So, it’s not always a bad thing. People just need to be taught to see all of the incoming messages as being both constructive and deconstructive at the same time.
(Hope that all made sense.)May 12, 2007 at 1:27 am #144014Hybrid DawnParticipant
it’s funny that media never points out the fact that forest fires are completely natural and a necessary for the majority of earths forests. Many generations of tree’s can’t leave their cones until they’re met with a blaze. With destruction come creation and beauty.
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