Disasters never extinguish hope

Atornado is a tornado—nothing more or less. It will uproot everything on its way. Trees will shiver in its cold hands before falling, houses will fly like winged castles, and eventually there will be rubble—huge piles of it everywhere. What was minutes ago a gated community is now just rubble. People would be scattered dead. Those who survive will crawl through rubble back to life, with hope.

A few years from now, life will grow back, wounds healed, and thriving. That is what audacity of hope is all about. Now researchers have found this happening in disaster-hit communities. Especially post the natural calamities. One example is the 2011 tornado-hit Joplin, Missouri.

One of the most destructive tornados in U.S history killed 161 people. The lashing wind razed one third of the city’s homes. Seven years on, researchers at the Disaster and Community Crisis Center at the University of Missouri found in the survivors positive vibes.

Of course, they still carry wounds from the tragedy. Despite losses, survivors suddenly start appreciating life. They will fall back on their personal strength, pursue possibilities, and look forward to life with spiritual outlook. All these help rebuild life from scratches. The role of mental health professionals, community organisers, and social workers are key factors, contributing to survival. Remember, humans have unusual survival instinct.

 The best example is Japan post nuclear attack. When twin bombs the U.S bombers cast on Japan’s two cities—Fat Man weighing 4,670kg, and Little Man weighing 4,400 kg—the nation was razed to rubble, economically, socially and politically. But in a few years’ time, a collective survival instinct put Japan back on track becoming the richest nation in Asia. It is all about our spirit of acceptance.