“Nepal earthquake, magnitude 7.4, strikes near Everest” I read, a little bewildered. Are my friends are behind the curve on posting current events to Facebook, I wondered. Maybe Facebook’s News Feed algorithms slipped up?
But again in rolled the bulletin coverage and Facebook updates that my friends in Nepal “were marked as safe.”* I realized that somehow the news was a near carbon copy from two weeks ago.
This repetition brought to mind the rapid succession of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita landing along the coasts of Louisiana and Texas. Worse still are entirely human-drive tragedies of increased police violence along racial lines and deaf ears to protests of structural violence. It starts to feel to crass to remind folks to give, pray and stay informed again. I mean, what difference does it make?
At the same time, a second seismic event only doubles the need for those actions.
In many ways, it proves further that we can do nothing to stop seismic events whether they happen in Nepal, Peru or California. We can only work to build community through recovery and reorganize to reduce the tragedy attached to these events in the future. Many in Nepal have been doing just that, both now and in the past. A friend in Nepal, Sarah, shared a piece written four months ago for National Earthquake Safety Day, which highlighted the incredible way the Nepalese communities have “prepared to be prepared” as the founder of the National Society for Earthquake Technology-Nepal, Amod Mani Dixit put it. Even while legislation was stagnant at the national level, people have come together before and after to be in community.
That’s one part of the message I forgot to share last week. It’s essential to be in community after these events, to realize our great potential as a united force. Perhaps “Be In Community” is its own step, but in my opinion Give, Pray, and Stay Informed all form part of that greater goal. Mostly, I just wanted to call attention to the incredible witness to that community I am seeing in updates from Nepal even amidst a second earthquake.
*If you’re one of those people not in Nepal marking yourself as safe, stop. Unmark yourself and think about why you felt the need to do that. (If it’s a glitch or a misclick, no hard feelings.)