Floods are a time for self reflection

The current mega-floods have given some of us a lot of time for reflection.  Generally, we live our daily lives without the thought of what it means if something of an extraordinary nature happens.    We don't think much of the normal ups and downs in our fortune.

However, this major inundation is somewhat different from previous encounters.  It doesn't mean that we have not prepared for it.  Yes, we have physically, at least to a certain degree.  But mentally, we have little preparation.  The country as a single most important entity has not prepared for it.  The people cannot comprehend the magnitude of such an event.  Worst yet, the government and authorities do not have the right ideas and answers for the problem.

So, instead of finger pointing, and finding out who is to blame for the country's worst flood in five decades, we should keep cool, stay calm and collected.  This notion can be applied to the country, the people, and the government.  And if it provides any solace at all, then let's blame it on our karma.  Well, we have to blame it on something, don't we?

After finding some responsible party for our misfortunes, it's time for all of us to reflect on what has transpired in our lives.  Even though there are several good men and women, as well as noble actions coming out of this water-borne tragedy, these are dwarfed by the enormity of the flooding. For example, the alarums and excursions that armed forces personnel have carried out for the people have not been enough to calm down anxieties and commotion of many angry groups. So let us all take a deep breath and find some answers for better and brighter things in life.

Despite all odds, if we could find some peace of mind we could then come up with solutions to our various problems. The minds of the Thai people have to be bonded together and become as one.  This union of the mind can benefit the national interest as a whole.  We can forgo the fight for survival of various cliques. As a Buddhist country, the nation and its people should adopt and practice some kind of meditation - we all have plenty of time for that, thanks to the big floods.  We should take this opportunity to ponder life in all its dimensions, especially in dealing with crisis.  Let our modus vivendi during the floods be a time for self reflection.

Joe Sirijaraya

Post Bag, Bangkok Post, 12 November 2011

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