This disaster, being of such a huge magnitude, reminds us that we are all connected because we will in all likelihood unavoidably be impacted.  Being able to watch coverage of disasters on television, I feel, can lead us to feel like spectators, watching others without participating ourselves.  If we have felt separate before, even in the wake of previous hurricanes, we will quite likely be impacted this time -- by an influx of evacuees into our areas needing housing, food, jobs, and resources and also economically by the seemingly inevitable rise in gas, fuel, and heating costs.  This time we may be continually reminded of our interconnectedness for months.  This may be a painful hammering home of the lesson of interconnectedness:  if we haven't been able to feel it in our hearts, we may likely be reminded in other ways.


This is the single greatest lesson from this terrible event, I feel:  that we must remember that we are all connected, in spite of how busy or stressed our lives, in spite of any perceived differences among us, in spite of anything that may have served to blind us from our sense of connectedness.  And this remembrance of our connectedness must be through the heart, through feeling it, and not just thinking it. 


Some other thoughts on connectedness:  At our best, in such a horrific event like this, we will feel compassion -- heart-opening -- for those displaced who have lost homes, family, livelihood, etc.  (This is, after all, quite simply a massive heart-opening experience.)


And yet we may also encounter those who feel less of a connection.  I have been surprised to hear those expressing the feeling that this disaster represents a clearing of "negative energy;" some have even made references to "Sodom and Gomorrah."  (I heard similar thoughts expressed in the wake of the terrible tsunami:  that because so many of those affected "weren't Christians" they were being "punished" -- of course by a supposedly strictly Christian God.)  You might guess that I do not subscribe to these views that, quite frankly, I regard as coming from a less than healthy mentality.  (And, interestingly, in New Orleans the “Sodom and Gomorrah” that people refer to – the French Quarter – was untouched by the destructive flooding, while so many residential areas,




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