The fury and destructive power of earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires and hurricanes easily dwarf any man-made disasters, and they should humble us as a species even while we make every effort to help the afflicted. The recent earthquake in Nepal represents a prime example.
The tragedy of this event involves its geographical impact as well as the scope of its devastation. Nepal is one of the poorest nations on Earth, and many of its dwellings are built out of little more than straw and bricks. To watch these edifices come tumbling down on top of their inhabitants leaves one with a helpless empathy for these victims.
Of course, the international community is providing assistance as quickly as possible, and protocols have been developed to assist in organizing the initial steps such as the search for people still alive among the rubble. In a matter of days, however, the mission will shift from search-and-rescue to a focus on keeping the survivors alive.
Just think for a moment if this happened to you. Your house crumbled, so you have none of your possessions. Each day suddenly becomes a struggle for sheer survival, to the extent where the next glass of water becomes an all-consuming search. You have no medicine nor do the people all around you. It quickly becomes survival of the fittest.
And we are all just one act of nature away from being in the same circumstances.