Dr. Emanuel Finn

One year later have we learned anything from Hurricane Maria? While Maria was “uniquely unique,” there are important universal lessons for all to study and act upon.

On the one year anniversary when that monster storm paid Dominica a very rude visit it did not want nor ask for, it is an important moment of remembrance and witness and but also of warning.

But let’s examine a few of the lessons of Maria we should ponder on.

1. The first lesson is the importance and responsibility of the duty of remembrance itself. It is imperative that we remember the many innocent Dominicans who perished- some never to be found; the many homes, limbs, and branches that were destroyed and the crippling of our small island nation economy and way of life.

2. The second lesson is the responsibility to educate ourselves, our communities, friends, adversaries and to strive to work in a cooperative and cohesive manner and to treat others with respect, consideration, and dignity.

3. The third lesson that Maria taught us is the need to hold on to our Faith, families, future and our nation for faith is much stronger than fear.

Hurricane Maria taught all Dominicans and Dominican at Heart at home and abroad the true meaning of humanity and humility. The horrendous storm which will remain in the deepest recess of our minds, souls and consciousness for a long time if not forever, compelled us (or should) to believe that we are not all motivated by greed, selfishness and/or hate.

But ultimately what Maria revealed is the almost infinite malleability of humanity: that we have the capacity to endure life’s tribulations as well as its triumphs.

Hurricane Maria cannot be glibly remembered in passing as a tragic aberration or as an extreme and unrepeatable event that happened one September night. It reminds us in the most emphatic way that the remembering, learning, planning and preparing for the next Maria has to go on non-stop.

That catastrophic event which occurred last September is a warning that all should take heed. Who knows but there may be more ‘Marias’ on the way with increase global warming and changing weather patterns. It was possible for this to happen, and it remains possible for it to happen again at any minute on an even grander scale.

To forget or ignore that fact is guilt and dereliction of duty and existence for it must be continually remembered. Hurricane Maria is the wound that will probably never heal completely.

Sure, it may scab over, but it will always be sore to the touch. ……..To many, it’s even more about what we have accepted, rather than what we learned or should learn from it.

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