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Natural Disasters - Challenge and Opportunities


Natural Disasters - Challenge and Opportunities


As a foremost authority on human behaviour, Dr Demartini has been approached from a wide array of media to comment on the situation in Japan. Watch two interviews and read a third interview with Dr Demartini as he discusses the challenges and opportunities that natural disasters bring and how, even though we feel that 2011 has been a test of the human spirit in the face of adversity, that there is also a 'positive' light to be shed on what could be seen as a country's darkest days.




By Dr. John Demartini

Unquestionably the events occurring recently or currently in the world could be perceived as terrible ‘challenges' or ‘disasters', but then we would be allowing our incomplete perceptions to run our reactions. Every event has two sides, the so-called negative and its complementary opposite side, the positive.  These can also be called drawbacks and benefits or challenge and support. The key is not to wait until the other side is eventually realized and self-evident.  It is to look immediately and find the other side that is ever present.  This will quell the emotion and bring the mind back into a balanced state.


So there is always the other side to every event including the so-called disaster which recently struck Japan. With exaggerated emotions, this event would appear to be all doom and gloom, but it isn't.  I spoke to a gentleman from Japan today who said that they have benefited from the event as much as they have been challenged. People are discovering who their neighbors are. Families that remain are closer, family reunions have taken place and gratitude is emerging for the life that survived that was partly being taken for granted. Also, in some ways it has removed some of life's burdens.

It is not just a random occurrence. Nature levels the playing field at times to readjust the game of life.  In time to come, people will look back on this event with greater endurance and realize the countless benefits like improved infrastructures, differently governed nuclear plants, new creative innovations, partnering and raised living standards.


It may also spark the return to basics and real priorities, the balancing of the social equation between the haves and have nots, the few and the many, the empowered and the disempowered and make people realize the importance of love and not just being right.  

If you recall, nearly 20 years ago there was devastating hurricane called Andrew in the US. It soon became Saint Andrew as the benefits became apparent.  There is never a scar without a star or a crisis without a blessing.

During post-traumatic periods, people tend to exaggerate the negative. They experience feelings of loss without gain, perceive more drawbacks than benefits and more pain than pleasure. Trauma often overwhelms our entire sense of self. Our emotions, logic and understanding of life can be shattered. It is precisely this shattering effect that forces us to think in new ways, feel emotions at deeper levels and relate to others in more compassionate ways. People, who have healed successfully from trauma, discover that their life is richer, fuller and more caring than they had ever experienced before.

A Japanese interviewer asked me what advice I had for his country's survivors.

Don't react, but act. Don't assume, find out the facts and get the data as it's not wise to jump to conclusions. Always remember that when great challenges occur, there are always great opportunities for leadership at a new level and new opportunities for growth and development. It's wise to keep your eyes open on both sides and not react out of ignorance, but to act out of wisdom.  It is wiser not to live in the illusions of loss and gain, but to live a world of transformation.

Build and transform Japan to new levels and act as an example to others around the world. Whatever happens to you - let it be a reminder to be grateful for your life.  Love is discovering and appreciating both sides. Don't let anything stop you living your dreams and whatever doesn't knock you out will make you stronger.

Out of the ashes great things arise and if you survived, you are the one to help build an even stronger Japan.


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