This morning I heard of these sinkholes that are popping up in various places in Canada, and other places too. This happens, I'm not trying to fear monger. It probably happens more now however, and when these natural disasters increase, I always come back to the same question: What will it take?
It's amazing how little our "developed" countries can withstand the force of nature. Those that aren't as developed are obviously in far worse conditions. Still though, we try to stabilize every facet of our lives - our finances, our career, our location, our family, our friends but there is no real 'quick fix' for the whims of natural disasters, and even natural disturbances like these sinkholes (depending on the severity).
The news that you'll hear from the primary sources will bring up these things, in a very clearly disaster-ridden manner. They'll have someone speak about how horrible it is, or a loved one that's passed because of it. It's all quite riddled with fear, as the chaos and instability within our minds creeps back in. When we start to feel a little less safe in our own homes.
So the way I see it there are (at least) two ways to see this. The two I've come up with are as follows.
The first, is as I mentioned above - fear ridden. Even if in a small way. I'm not saying that it makes us feel endangered, but we may just have that feeling sometimes that these things are happening a little too close for comfort. It's only a matter of time until something happens in our locales!
The other, which I'm far more apt to jump on board with, is what sociologists call the functionalist perspective. The idea that everything that occurs has a purpose to serve to the whole of society. I think about this a lot because as horrible as certain things are, sometimes there are silver linings in very latent ways. One example that I read about, was that of murder. Of course, murder is a horrible thing! The interesting thing some sociologists have found is that when there is a murder, the resulting community immediately bolster's together, and form a stronger bond with one another due to an increased need for security. Often it's found that people really unite together when these things happen. The same occurs in a lesser way with robberies. When it's commonly known that there are robberies, communities do things like form neighbourhood watch groups.
I'm not arguing one way or the other, but I do enjoy observing the unintended responses that individuals and communities have when such things occur. So I guess I'm just waiting for that day when natural disasters or disturbances keep increasing (as they are) to the point when we're forced to take a long hard look at certain aspects of the way we live on this planet.
I guess this is why Guelph is where I need to be right now. It's incredibly reassuring to be surrounded by those people and groups that are trying their best to, excuse this phrase, brace for impact. When I hear the news of all of these things today, I don't feel the fear anymore seep back in. I feel the idle observer return who looks at things as a whole, and remembers how we'll never push this unstable, sometimes unpredictable heavy boulder up a hill, until it reaches an apex, where it will sit comfortably in it's stable seat, and we'll be freed from all insecurities.
Or at least if we do manage to do this, we'll realize that we've been pushing it up the wrong hill. Then we'll check our map of nature, and realize that we'd pushed it up the hill marked "Danger! No stable seat on this one".