Tropical Storm Erika has certainly struck our nation beyond anything one would have fathomed prior to its arrival over Dominica. The shocking evidence of its mischief is vivid. Things will be so for a long time via the various memorabilia which will emerge, and those which have already emerged. Without decreasing the impact of the monstrosity of this weather system which has battered my homeland, I feel obligated to highlight some lessons that I am learning since Thursday 27th August, 2015.
- Life is precious – relish every moment
- In a split second, everything can change and alter the rest of one’s life
- Really, we are nothing – treat all people with dignity (as hard as it may be sometimes)
- Live every day with Psalm 23 in mind – We do walk in the shadow of death
- The majority of Dominicans are peace-loving people
- Forgiveness is possible, and peace is powerful
- In sickness, death, disaster and crisis there is no such thing as enmity
- Dominicans care about their neighbors, but don’t always express that concern
- Show more concern for neighbors in and out of season (crisis / no crisis)
- Treat volunteers with dignity and gratitude (they don’t have to serve, but they choose to)
- Volunteers have needs too, sometimes they share similar crisis with those they serve
- Volunteerism is still embedded in the fabric of our nation
- Some people are blinded – no crisis can clear their eyes, nor wash their enslaved minds (stay focused on the goal to make a positive difference, and avoid / ignore the negativity)
- Some folks are selfish – they will push their agendas regardless of the pains of others (pray for and forgive them)
- Survival warrants personal decisions to rise above the pains and obstacles – daily
- Faith in a supreme being is like gravity – it grounds the soul when trauma strikes. – Keep faith!
- Press on, because life persists – don’t forget to distract yourself from painful thoughts
- Life keeps teaching – keep learning, keep applying
These lessons I hope to remember as days go by. Meanwhile, efforts to continue the contribution being made toward Dominica’s reconstruction will persist as best as possible. What have you learned from Erica? What are you learning? Feel free to share with me.