COMMENTARY: It was a very ill wind that blew no good

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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  1. River Enthusiast
    September 7, 2018

    Thank you Dr Emmanuel Finn for your thought provoking piece on Hurricane Maria. On another note the T-Shirts that are being worn for World Rivers Day 2018 says “God has spoken through our Rivers are we listening?”
    Reference is also made to Samuel call in 1 Samuel where he heard a voice and did not recognize it as coming from God until he was informed by his Elder.

  2. September 6, 2018

    I personally know of a family who lost 21 relatives during the passage of Erika in 2015 in Dominica. Losing one is hard to accept, much less losing 21. The sad reality is that many people don’t learn from these catastrophes. As soon as the storm is over, people go back to their old greedy, self-absorbing ways where materials things again become their God. Even people, who claim that they are atheist cry out to God for help, then go back to denying him until the next storm comes. These storms should remind us that nothing last forever, and stop worshiping things. Always put God first in everything we do.

  3. Looking
    September 6, 2018

    Did we learn from it?. Good people have become better; bad people worst.

  4. %
    September 6, 2018

    I think hurricane Maria did present an EXCELLENT opportunity to unite Dominica in an positive way,if we had a real Head of government. But instead of this,showman Skerrit did the direct opposite .He sidelined the opposition parliamentarians like Joseph Isaaa,Patriots Lugay,Francis,Bazil,Linton,Spaggs,and assigned his own people to share food to ingratiate themselves with the electorate. The ploy failed,because it was evil.He went on to tell his unsuspecting followers that we do not need an opposition, knowing fully well that our constitution stated that there SHALL be a leader OF the opposition…There are still veritable cases where those who hate Dlp’s grotesquely bad and reprehensible governance are sidelined …So from the governance standpoint the DLP have learnt one thing,DIVISION ..
    Shame on them
    Skerrit Must Go
    Skerrit Must Go
    Lazy Skerrit Must Go Now.

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