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  • Edición impresa de Noviembre 6, 2012

Thousands of people are living in times of uncertainty, not knowing what the future holds for them.  The people hit by Sandy, the huge storm that hit the northeastern part of the country after affecting several islands in the Caribbean, has impacted not only those directly stricken by the force of nature, but it has also sent a clear message to all.  As human beings we have to acknowledge that we have been taking advantage of earth without any consideration as to consequences.

It is scary to think that big cities depend so much on resources from the outside for their basic necessities like food. All the conveniences that surround them use enormous amounts of electric power that moves doors, elevators, security systems, Communications.  It also keeps food frozen or refrigerated and it supplies the systems that bring about the heat or air conditioning for the respective seasons.

Any problem resulting from a catastrophe multiplies itself as many people are harmed. Therefore the bigger the city, the more victims and injuries.

In the case of New York, a city made up of people from everywhere in the planet, many times fleeing from unpleasant or dangerous situations, it is difficult to think of it as a community. Because of the scarcity of food, fuel, energy and heat some people have started to react violently.

In small towns there is a friendlier attitude towards the needy. And even in the case of lack of energy, there is always the resource of burning wood, walking, and even sharing food.  Big cities are used to having everything served to them and therefore not being able to maintain themselves.

Globalization has contributed to the creation of mega polis that do not bring any real comfort to their inhabitants.  In fact most people, when possible, would rather live outside populous cities avoiding all the problems inherent to them such as violence, insecurity, noise, and crowding.

When the poor are left with no land they have to work for someone else, buy all their food at a store and live in small uncomfortable and many times dangerous places.  That is how most cities have grown like concentric circles of the latest arrivals to the city. The other way in which cities grow is when the rich leave their houses, usually converted to multiple dwellings, for the poor to live in. There is more need and sad stories concentrated in big cities. When trouble stirs them up we see the worse face of individuals.

But the message is not only for the big city inhabitants but also for all of us.  So much effort to gather things and losing them all in a minute! What kind of certainty do we have no matter where we live?  What kind of memories can you hold and be able to move to an entirely different place, and still be able to be yourself.

In the United States we are looking today at instances like the effects of Sandy, and we are also waiting for the results of the presidential election.  There are big changes taking place. Where is my stronghold? Where do I turn in the time of need or scarcity?

These questions have been in the minds of many lately.  If you have not noticed, everything is changing, and is doing so fast.  Probably people from other eras felt the same as they were changing from one mode of history to another.  Yet, throughout time there has always been hope, love and inner balance.

After the storm, there are changes but also calm.

 

 


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