Phew, the weekend was a wake up call for us Wellingtonians. Did you find you were immediately involved in frenetic texting directly after the bigger one, then a flow of ’Thinking of you ‘ emails later?
Israeli friends have told us of this same behavioural pattern: They hear of a bomb and immediately contact family in the nearby area, then close friends, then a while later the wider friendship circle.
The need to reaffirm bonds, is clearly an instinctive reaction to threat. Such jolts make us realise how much our important connections matter. In some ways, drastic events can enable us to reaffirm our key bonds -much like the importance of a wake after a funeral.
The sense of belonging is crucial to human mental health. It’s why at the new millenium, so many people preferred to be with family rather than in the expected massive parties. Relatedness is key to us as humans and we now know that the pain of being excluded is very similar to the pain of physical injury. Beth Mount (expert on Personal Futures Planning for people with disabilities) has said: “Loneliness is the only real disability’.
It was heartwarming to receive emails from old friends across the world and it put us more closely in touch once more. So what do we take from the weekend? Make contact with friends and family, even when you have lost touch. Use this sharp reminder of the fragility of life to strengthen your connection with the people you care about.
Spare a thought for the people in Christchurch as well. What we went through doesn’t remotely approximate their shock at the time and their on-going problems. Think too oif the countless ordinary people trying to live in war zones. They live with this fragility every day and it is the result of human decisions, not just a random result of geology.
All the best out there. Keep communicating with those you love!