A positive ‘mental drill’ for the ‘Big One’
We had our exercise drill two days ago at the office, in the event the dreaded “Big One” jolts areas near the Marikina Valley fault line. It’s a good exercise to prepare everyone physically and mentally what to do during the earthquake and when the shaking subsides.
It’s similar to the mandatory drill which all cruise ship passengers must participate in before the ship leaves the port. The chances are nil that something will happen that could make the ship sink, but it’s good to be prepared on what to do in the unlikely event it does happen. But after participating in the drill, one should completely set aside any worrisome thoughts of the ship capsizing; it’s pointless to go on a cruise to relax but keep worrying about a possible catastrophe.
I stressed the same message to our office staff—to know what one has to do in the event of a big earthquake; to make sure all necessary preparations are done; and, these being accomplished, to stop thinking too much about it and focus on our work.
Yes, when the “Big One” hits, it would indeed be a disaster of severe proportions. Experts predict that around 34,000 would die, several hundred thousands would be injured, and millions would be rendered homeless or hungry.
Preparing in whatever manner we can so we don’t become part of these statistics is constructive and positive.
Worrying no end about it is counterproductive, and might just become a self-fulfilling prophesy. As we said in a previous column, “What we resist, persists.” What we worry a lot would happen; we’re unwittingly increasing the probability of it happening because we’re lending so much energy to it with our negative thoughts and feelings like fear, anxiety and hopelessness.
I’ve met a few people who look at the threat of the “Big One” as something apocalyptic and would signal the end of the world. Although we Christians believe that there will be a Judgment Day, or a day of final reckoning, no one knows the day or hour it would happen. Only God knows, and we should patiently but not anxiously wait on His decision when to allow it to happen.
A few religious groups have been worrying about it since more than a hundred years ago, and have decided to leave all their properties and just go to the mountains, or live in caves to await it. But probably because of their utterly pessimistic outlook or apocalyptic orientation, many of them attracted into their lives other forms of disasters like disease outbreaks, malnutrition and malnutrition-related diseases, psychological disorders, and other major problems leading to a lot of casualties.
It’s a challenge, but all of us should try to learn and develop this very important trait—to maintain our positive and optimistic outlook in the midst of all the negativity we have in this world. Thinking negatively is the average mind’s default or passive mindset. It requires a major effort to make our mindset positive, but it hardly requires any effort to make our mindset negative—to worry a lot, to think of the worst that could remotely happen. As psychologists emphasize, negative thoughts are just like weeds growing in the garden automatically especially if one makes no effort in weeding them out.
So we should prepare for the “Big One” positively and realistically, without allowing our blood pressures to shoot up, or our ulcers to get worse by worrying about the worst that could happen to us and our families should it come in our lifetime.
Let’s cultivate flowering plants (positive thoughts), not weeds (negative thoughts) in our minds. What a beautiful garden we could all then make in our lives.
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