Warning: This has nothing to do with TTWD. And it might be kind of a downer. Feel free to skip it if you’d rather not read a serious post.
Some of you might have heard there was an emergency alert that went out in Hawaii yesterday morning at 8am: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” It happened because someone pushed the wrong button, creating a real alert (going out to everyone) rather than the test alert (going out to just people in the building). It took 38 minutes before they sent out another alert saying it was a mistake (although there were tweets before that from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and various government officials).
As you can imagine it caused some hysteria. People trying to hide in their bathrooms, or put their children down a storm drain. People driving through red lights, since we only have 15 minutes before it would hit. People saying goodbye to family members. Tourists hiding in basements, travelers having to go through TSA twice (since they weren’t allowed to check in the first time), people frantically trying to find out if it was a mistake. And the aftermath — sobbing by the roadside when you realize you’re not going to die after all, trying to explain to kids that we’re sort of at war even though they didn’t know it, and realizing they have to now live with a fear they never had to before.
Anger at the Idiots-in-Chief in the US and North Korea who have put us into this situation. Anger at the newbie who screwed up big time. Anger at the government because they obviously don’t have safeguards in place to prevent this (“My phone prompts me three times when I want to delete something and even then must use a passcode!”), and didn’t have a way to cancel it immediately after it happened (“There wasn’t a procedure to reverse a warning, so we had to wait for FEMA to approve a message saying it was a mistake”). They are saying at the very least someone needs to be fired for this, as it was a HUGE mistake that impacted so many lives.
Well, I beg to differ. I lost a friend yesterday. She had cancer, and she had elected to die with dignity, rather than suffer through any chemo or waiting till she was in too much pain. In other words, she took her own life. And one of the last things she posted was: “You tell me I am an inspiration. So, be inspired, from this moment on in every conversation, think well of the person in front of you, love them even if you don’t know them, look them in the eye and tell them they are good. I heard the Dalai Lama speak once on world peace, he said just be kind to the person next to you. That’s it, that is the answer to saving the world, just be kind to the person next to you.”
We are all better than the worst mistake we have ever made. We are all capable of redemption…and forgiveness. We are all capable of greatness. We are all deserving of love. I’m very grateful today to be alive, for more than one reason. Thank you all for your support and good wishes. I so appreciate your presence in my life. 🙂