h2g2 Post 06.01.05

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Posted: 6th January 2005


What can I say?

Normally I would wish you all the best for the New Year and hope that you all enjoyed the holiday season. Somehow this seems inappropriate this time around but the sentiment is there just the same.

On December 26th I was tucked up in bed feeling sorry for myself as I battled with the 'flu epidemic which has swept across the Netherlands. As always my radio was tuned to The World Service so it wasn't long before the horror of events in the environs of the Indian Ocean struck home. I don't think that anyone, in those first few hours, realised the full implication of the earthquake and ensuing tsunami. But, as that day crept into the next and the next, the awful toll on families and communities became apparent. Hourly the death toll rose. Hourly more and more news coverage showed just what a devastating force nature really is. Who couldn't help but weep with the parents who mourned their lost children or the families who had lost their relatives, their homes and their livelihoods?

Gradually the world wakes up. Not so much the governments but the people. Offers of help pour in providing clothes, money and, most precious of all, willing hands. Those who have skills elect to travel to assist in whatever way they can - doctors, nurses, firemen, policemen, haulage workers, builders, in fact anyone who thinks that they can be of use. Tourists elect to spend their holiday clearing debris and, most distressingly, searching for bodies. They insist on showing support for the local communities - to let them know that the world cares. When the population of this earth insists on a course of action the powers must surely follow or perish. It doesn't really matter if they are trying to score brownie points with their electorate or impress their neighbouring states; if it means saving the survivors from epidemics and helping them rebuild their homes, their boats, their lives then all well and good. This is one time when the end really justify the means - let them be judged later.

Thankfully, here on h2g2, we have a strong, caring community which will always try to comfort and show hope in the darkest of times. One such example can be found in this edition where a thread has been translated into an article to highlight the hope for the future. If you read nothing else, read Shining Lights in Darkest Hours






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