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Self Help; What Can Disasters Teach Us?

Updated on April 17, 2013

The video above shows a very rare fire tornado, and if you didn't know they existed then you're not alone, I was fascinated when I first saw it, it's like something alive, dangerous and almost alien, but it's not alien it's a natural occurring phenomenon right here on Earth.

And although amazing for us to watch (and video) for the person that owned the corn field it was a disaster.

So what can disasters teach us?

And why is this question at the forefront of my mind? Yesterday we had a small kitchen fire, nothing dramatic, although to be honest the few moments before we assessed what was going on were filled with fear. We had left a frying pan on a low heat and had gone out shopping. Obviously we're not stupid, we thought it was turned off but the cooker knob wasn't working properly and it was still ever so slightly lit. We put our beloved dogs in the conservatory attached to the kitchen and off we went to look for a more comfortable chair for when I'm sitting here writing my hubs.

Our return was met by a panicking neighbour, smoke pouring out back windows and a fire engine arriving a moment after we did, my husband dived in the front door and I ran towards the back of the house to rescue the dogs. The firemen were not impressed, of course you're not supposed go into a burning building, but my husband had worked out what and where the fire was, and I knew that we had a dog flap and I could get the dogs out without entering the house.

Now if we had come home as usual to a quiet house with no problems then we wouldn't have learned a number of important things:

  • The off setting on the cooker sticks.
  • Although we have fire detectors the firemen think they should be relocated.
  • That even when the house is on fire the dogs will stay in the house and defend it from our wonderful helpful neighbours.
  • That we should install a metal edge between a wooden counter top and a cooker.
  • That neither of us panic.
  • And that we have adequate insurance cover.

Companies, governments put in place disaster strategies and as individuals we hope that our strategies will suffice when problems arise but when they don't sometimes what we learn from the disaster is much more important than what actually happened.

When Do Things Change?

When do we change things in our lives? Well there is an old saying 'if it's not broken don't fix it' so we go along day after day doing the same old thing, acting the same old way, especially in our relationships with one another, when everything's great it very seldom changes. It is when things go wrong that we find our 'turning points', you get sacked so you look for a new and better job, you're made redundant and you use your redundancy monies to start that career you've always wanted to do. A relationship crumbles and no matter how heartbroken you are when you find that one true person you were meant to be with then you'll thank heavens it happened.

If you think back to when you made your biggest changes in life it was most probably when something had happened to force you to make a decision. I constantly tell my children that when things happen they need to step back and look at the bigger picture, not at what went wrong but more about what have they learned and what they need to do to solve the problem.

Don't sit in Anxiety - Use it!

I know there are times when we feel anxious, but anxiety is a tool, the people that sit around worrying about something, and worrying and worrying, are doing anything to relieve that worry, your anxiety tells you something is wrong, and now is the time for you to think of all the options open to you and to make a decision on what needs to be changed.

Disasters are just that, they're disasters, to be in your healthiest state of mind you need to realise that your life is a series of lessons starting from when you were born "I am hungry, I cry, I get fed" problem solved, all the way up to "the switch on the cooker doesn't work properly, ignore it and the universe will give you a huge nudge - and a lesson to be learnt.


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    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 6 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I got my fingers crossed and hope nutt'n bad happens to me--but Heck!!!! I'm gonna be ready! It’s great to see a new HUBBER and welcome to HUB writing. I found I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and awesome.” I'm always your fan! RJ

      Based upon your HUB, you might enjoy this HUB…

    • Eileen Goodall profile image

      Eileen Goodall 6 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      @Claire - Go for it, I love writing hubs! Any questions just ask.

    • Claire Plant profile image

      Claire Plant 6 years ago

      Fantastic Hub xx Thinking of starting my own soon ;o) xx

    • profile image

      blog8withJ 6 years ago

      Disasters can sometimes change people's view of the world.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 6 years ago from UK

      Your perspective is very refreshing! I agree that it’s a good idea to look for lessons rather than to dwell on what went wrong. It’s taken me a lot of living to realise that, but beating yourself for mistakes does no one any good. Great hub.

      I’m also impressed at how many hubs you’ve produced in 5 weeks, and hello from a fellow Scot.