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We use the word “power” a lot these days.  We talk about what party is in power, who is seeking power, who is grabbing power, and so on and so forth.  In fact, the word has become such a part of the communications and media of everyday life that in some ways it has lost much of its meaning.  We have almost trivialized the concept of “power.”

I think we all got a lesson in real power recently.

I look at the pictures, listen to the reports, and watch the video of the devastation that came about from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and it really makes me wonder.  All of our petty little struggles to get one up on one another pale in comparison to the raw, unbridled fury that nature can visit upon us.

And it often comes with no warning or sign telling us to get the hell out of the way.

The last few years I have become more and more cognizant of the power of the world we live in to knock us off our pedestal.  Natural disasters show us just how small we really are in this world.  Yes, we may have invented ways to measure and even predict some of them, but there is nothing we can do to prevent them.  We are at the mercy of the natural world around us in so many ways.

Perhaps Darth Vader said it best.

“The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”

We have created many means with which to destroy a planet, whether you are speaking ecologically or literally.  And, perhaps, we need to be reminded every once in a while how insignificant that power is next to the power of nature.

I grieve for those who died in this latest disaster.  My heart reaches out to those left behind to deal with the destruction and the loss.  And, I know that there will be lessons taken away from this.  We will learn something, whether it be how to build earthquake and flood resistant structures or new ways to deal with nuclear emergency.

I just think we also need to take a few moments to stand in awe and realize that our petty definition of power falls well short of the real thing.  One thing we should certainly take away from this is perspective.


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