There is a message in every difficulty

During the past year, the world bore witness to many conflicts and natural disasters. The flood in Kerala left many people scarred by memories of distress and disaster. However, there is one thing we need to remember: Every difficult situation in life is providing us with the opportunity to correct some mistake.

The flood was a warning—a message. For quite some time, we have been exploiting Nature for selfish and short-lived gains. What we saw was the bitter consequence of that. What was the reason for the landslides during the flood? The trees have been chopped down, leaving the mountainside bare, and houses have been constructed close to each other in the foothills. It was the root systems of those trees that would have supported and held together with the mountain topsoil. With no root network to hold the topsoil, the deluge washed it away, leading to landslides. It is as though we are beckoning Yama—the Lord of Death—to come and get us. The cause of the landslides was more from below than from above.

If more trees are planted to support the topsoil and if a study were done to understand how to properly construct houses on hillsides, we may be able to prevent future landslides to a great extent. There are many other things we can do to bring effective change. Let us move forward and work with greater alacrity (alertness) to protect and restore Nature’s harmony.