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Conscience.

by Jaap den Haan. Saturday, Mar. 26, 2005 at 5:35 PM

Good manners.

Just as many people had finished their Christmas dinner and were watching televsion, they were confronted with the most catastrophical Tsunami in recorded history. It was difficult to imagine what confrontation had occurred to those immediately concerned. This was not the right moment to be too philosophical about its causes and so forget the misery of masses of people. Yet, we wonder what then is the right moment for man to ponder on his relationship with nature and the world he inhabits. To be philosophical in this respect is no escapism but a deepening of our collective conscience which indeed directly concerns this natural disaster. It is time to see that environmental pollution is only the grossest form of the severe strain we put on this earth and its crust by our human imbalance, normally only apparent in relation to each other. To see the mentioning of this fact as an offence to those suffering from the consequences of natural disturbances possibly or partially caused by man himself would be a narrowminded mistake and no help to any victims whatsoever, nor to anyone identifying (with) these. It blows our mind that even the most progressive thinkers and the media make a taboo of the possibility of any relationship, as if this is an issue of good manners only, and only relevant to rescue-workers who really have no time to think, and as if this lack of time is the only legitimate form of solidarity, in a case of divorce. In this way so many people have not only died for nothing but for a cause: of promoting an opportunistic view on life which refuses to consider any relationship between cause and effect, indeed logic. Often we aimlessly defend our innocence by not finding any logic when we see an effect take place in the negative. Despite ourselves we are reminded of either myths or accounts of floods and entire countries having ever been swallowed by the sea, something we have never been able to visualize so far. Habitually we do not know when to speak or listen, it seems, by our sense of good manners. It is nature itself, supporting us, which has no such good manners, but tells its own story. It is time to listen.

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