I'm shocked and my heart goes out to the Russian people who have been injured or have had property destroyed by the meteor that exploded over the Ural Mountains on Friday. With around 1,200 people injured, mostly by flying glass, and an estimated 100,000 homes damaged, all in the middle of winter where temperatures have been as low as -20 C, it's a miracle that no-one died. The damage bill is estimated at $US30 million with broken windows accounting for a large part of the damage and the injuries. Given the freezing temperatures, they are working urgently at repairs.
While major meteor damage is relatively rare - if I remember correctly the Tunguska event was the most recent one to cause severe damage and I'm not suggesting that we should live in fear of it happening again - it does shake one's faith a little as to our security sitting here on our blue planet. Well, at least it does mine. After all, even if we happen to find and track a large bolide or even an asteroid hurtling towards us, what exactly are we going to do about it?
Together with all the other natural disasters that have happened (and still are happening around the world) - and recent deaths among my family and friends - this has led me again to a review of my life. There's an awful lot I want to do and experience and, like most of us, I let all the little and routine things get in the way of my doing them. There are, of course, often very real obstacles - lack of money, ill-health, commitments that we don't want to abandon for all sorts of reasons - but, more often than not, it seems to me that it comes down to not being prepared to take a risk. This is something I find very difficult. I like to plan and cover all eventualities but I can see there are problems with being so unwillingly to take a chance.
I don't know if I will succeed but I am making a conscious decision - right now - to examine my life and to try to live each day as if it was going to be my last. I know, it's easier to say than to do but if I don't even try I'll never know if I could do it, will I.
Anyone else up for the challenge?