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It starts with just one kind person. . .

Watching this gave me chills.  What an inspiring educator and place.  I’ve been to Las Vegas a number of times, including visiting a school where a friend of my mom’s was the Principal, and this is a city that definitely reflects the current economic situation.  However, in spite of this, it is amazing what one person with an idea, some hard work, and a desire to help others can do.


Nine Eleven Two Thousand and One

Today is the 10th Anniversary of the attacks that took place on September, 11, 2001 in New York and Washington D.C.

I could spend this post talking at length about where I was that day (in my junior year at Marquette – in my a third story walk-up apartment after having dropped off a friend at work) or how I felt (scared, worried, confused), but instead I am going in a different direction.

What happened on 9/11 was bigger than any of us individually.  It impacted people around the world and continues to do to this day.  In the ten years since these horrible events society has experienced a number of other tragedies – Hurricane Katrina, the 2004 Tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the earthquake in Japan earlier this year, the horrid shootings in Norway and Arizona, and the myriad of other situations that do not make it onto the front pages – and they all leave people wondering why, how could this happen, what do we do now, how do we move forward.

Many of these questions are beyond anything that any of us will ever be able to fully answer or comprehend.  We will never truly know or understand why, and we don’t need to.  We can only control our reactions to these actions and our own thoughts and emotions.  In my opinion, people who embark on these actions are not acting in a rational way – they are being ruled by emotions.  Emotions are powerful, they drive us to do some very awesome and sometimes very stupid things.  Regardess, emotions need to be tempered with rational thoughts and actions at times to avoid taking things a bit too far.

Now, what does this talk of emotions have to do with 9/11?  I often wonder if there wasn’t so much hatred and misunderstanding in the world, would things like 9/11 happen?  If we all took the time to stop, and think, and learn, might we avoid these horrid actions that lead to so many long-lasting consequences?  Might we have fewer children whose innocence has been taken away after having seen the impact of extreme hatred?  Might we have more cooperation and love and respect?


Earthquake in Japan

As everyone by now knows, there was a 8.9 9.0 magnitude earthquake that shook Japan yesterday.  My thoughts and prayers go out to the people there and anyone else impacted by this tragedy.

This earthquake is the 5th strongest earthquake ever recorded by humans. The AP reports “The force of the quake was so strong that it moved the island of Honshu 8 feet to the east, said USGS geophysicist Ken Hudnut. It sped up the Earth’s rotation by 1.6 microseconds, according to NASA.”

To put this quake in perspective, according to Wikipedia (yes, I know that this isn’t the most reliable source, but just work with me here), and quakes of this magnitude only happen once per year or once every 20 years and can cause devistation over an area that covers hundreds or thousands of miles.  The 2010 Haiti earthquake was only a 7.0 quake – weaker than the quake in Sendai by a factor of almost 20.  However, the impacts and damage caused by these two quakes were very, very different.

Why is this?