Any experience can serve to give you insight and deeper awareness. Today the Northeast of U.S. is awakening from a major blow delivered by Hurricane Irene. Six years ago I awoke from a similar blow delivered by Katrina. And, while some people might recoil to hear me say this, Katrina was one of the best experiences I ever had.
Obviously no one wants hardship. We all crave sublime experiences, but disaster and hardship contain sublime moments if you can get past the panic and agony. Katrina was a horrible tragedy for many people, and so is Irene.
For what it’s worth to others here is what I learned from Katrina:
- Fear and gossip are useless in a tragedy, as they are in everyday life
- Clarity of purpose is easier in a tragedy, as it should be (but usually isn’t) in everyday life
- The most valuable thing in life is helping people and having clarity.
For the next few days, or weeks, many people will have their lives disrupted. Their precious routines will cease and they’ll have to confront each day with fresh eyes. We can dwell on fear and gossip, or we can use this moment to reorient our lives and create something more powerful.
That choice is always there, but for some reason it’s sometimes easier to appreciate in a tragedy. I found something powerful in Katrina that allowed me to change my life for the better. I hope that everyone can find that same thing that I found.