No doubt you will all know about the recent events happening in America on the eastern seaboard with Hurricane Sandy. Astonishing images seeing the streets of New York City under water, like scenes from the fictional film, The Day After Tomorrow.
We think of flooding on this scale of only affecting places such as Bangladesh, not a cosmopolitan metropolis like New York. However, they are better equipped to deal with such a disaster, but it still devastates lives. In July 2011 I witnessed first hand the results of major flooding when passing through Minot in North Dakota. On that occasion 12,000 people were displaced.
My heart goes out to the people affected, and to my friends who live and work in that area.
But, I was somewhat dismayed and angry when today, after signing out of Hotmail, reading on the MSN homepage, negative comments about the American people. Stupid comments, like they brought it on themselves, and, serves them right as they are a nation who don't care about anyone. These are obviously posts by people who have never set foot in America.
After my own experience and time over there I can truly say I have a greater understanding of the American people. A more generous and caring people toward strangers I have never met. They are not judgemental in any way and are first to offer help, then figure out how to make things work, unlike some people in my own country, I'm sad to say.
If I could I'd emigrate!
We spend too much time criticising and sneering at the success of others in this country, and for some reason develop a dislike of people based purely on they being more successful than ourselves. That said I am pleased to have a large circle of friends that do not think this way, and are they themselves very supportive and caring.
In June this year I had the privilege to work closely with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on his visit to Scotland. I recall something he said; "we are here in this life to help others. If you cannot do this for whatever reason, then don't hurt anyone".
I wonder how the people that wrote the cutting comments about the American people would fare if they were the victims of such a disaster. The way our climate is chainging radically it may not be too long until we find out.