Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

- Invictus by William Ernest Henley
It's been difficult to concentrate on achieving personal goals when across the world, our Japanese brothers and sisters are in the midst of so much tragedy. The world has been shaken by the sheer scale of the disaster that continues to unfold in Japan from a massive earthquake, devastating tsunami and now, the impending danger of a nuclear crisis. It's always a staggering realization that no matter how advanced our societies become, we are powerless when faced with Mother Nature's wrath.

What has been truly awe-inspiring to me, however, is how the Japanese have faced tragedy with such dignity and an unwavering regard for the common good. There have been no riots, no looting.  While they may have lost all their material possessions, they have held on to their humanity and their dignity. While I do pray fervently that no one else will have to experience such tragedy in their lives, I also hope that the human race will learn a lesson from how the Japanese have coped with the cards they've been dealt.

It's hard to know what to do in the face of such disaster. There are several different ways to make donations listed here and if you're a believer, one can never discount the power of prayer.

But once we've done all of that, all we can do is acknowledge that our time on this earth is limited, and no matter what precautions we may take, it can all end tomorrow. So stop putting things off for later. And don't tie your self-worth to material things that can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Invest yourself in relationships with people that matter while you still can. Do the things that make your heart sing. Because a life well lived is something that can never be taken away.   

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