7 Great Life Lessons From Tsunami Survivor
As I am writing this article, the world is shaken by the tsunami that hit Asia on 26 December 2004. It is only now that we start understanding the greatness of the tragedy.
But it is also at such moments that we can see examples of outstanding people's bravery and courage. And you know, they don't even think about themselves as brave, they simply did what they thought was right.
I am referring to the story of Phuket's resident Bill O'Leary, a former Australian, who saved many lives.
Just 2 minutes before the first wave hit, he received a phone call from his employee, who was on the beach where the company's office is located, "The shoreline receded 250 meters past the swim platform".
O'Leary was in the sea with guests of his cruise company and his 3 children on the board. He knew the news spelled big trouble. The swim platform was anchored 8 meters deep. He also remembered a shake he felt earlier that morning.
Not many people in Thailand knew about tsunamis but Bill immediately recognized the warning signs. Without delay, he phoned his offices and major hotels, telling them to remove people off the beach, "A tsunami is coming. Clear the beach and get people to high ground." He also asked other people on the boat to make phone calls to places they knew.
Then he headed out to the sea to face the giant wave. Bill was on the other side of the island, further away from the upcoming tsunami He was in open water when he received the call from the same employee that tsunami hit the Phuket's beach. Bill pulled back the engines and waited. Then he saw it. A 5-meter step on the water traveling faster than any wave he'd seen before. He directed the boat right at the step and jumped on.
The guests and children were terrified as the boat was riding the wave and everybody was screaming. Bill managed to keep the boat straight until the waves passed. Looking back they could see a wall of water washing off small boats and fish farms ashore. But O'Leary and his crew were safe.
And so were many people that got the 2-minute warning from him. They ran to high grounds and survived. One of the hotels on the beach that got the call, the Marriott, did not have anyone died.
But there also were people who ran back to their homes to fetch some valuables, and who died holding those valuables.
And here are the seven great life lessons we can learn from Bill O'Leary, a tsunami survivor:
1. If you live in the front row, this is where tsunamis hit.
Oceanfront homes come with drawbacks. Have an exit plan in case of emergency and learn the warning signs.
2. A tsunami does not come unannounced.
There ARE warning signs, always. Keep your feelings alert and you should not miss them. If there is a sudden change, seek an explanation.
3. If you know about a problem, alert others.
Don't be afraid to be a Chicken Little. The sky may be really falling.
4. When smell danger, it is wise to run away.
When your gut feeling alerts you, don't freeze. Do something. The problem will only get worse if you wait. If you don't know what can be coming, ask others for help. If there is nobody around to help, simply run. Trust your gut feeling. If you feel unsafe, remove yourself from the situation immediately. Stop a date and excuse yourself. Jump off the car on the traffic light. It's better to be silly than dead.
5. If you cannot run away from the danger, face it with courage.
Jump on the wave and keep your boat straight. Be totally fearless. Fight, if you have to.
6. No matter what happens, keep your cool.
There is no sense in panicking. Don't let your fears or anger overwhelm you. In any situation, the first question you should ask yourself is, "What can I do about it?" Decide on the course of actions and carry on.
7. You are priceless.
You life is thousands times more valuable than anything you own. If you smell danger, forget about your purse, cash or a family memorabilia. Even if you have nothing, you will be still the same person you are today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elena Welon is the webmaster of FREE online personals http://www.Match-Seeker.com - a popular meeting place for thousands of singles seeking dating, love and relationships. There is NO charge for posting your profile or writing to members. Come and meet our great members and find your match.
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Hey Me, Get Out Of My Way
Hey Me! Get Out Of My Way By David Stoddard How often it is we give up wanting to do something even before we give ourselves an honest chance of succeeding. Perhaps, we begin writing our autobiography. We get the table of contents and the introduction written, then we let it sit because we don't think anyone will care. We begin a diet over a weekend. Within a couple of days, we are back to our normal habits because we didn't see any immediate results. Maybe we want to start a desktop publishing business. We get it started and the clients start coming in sooner than we expected. Because of our past experiences where we have been so good at what we did, we only remember getting bombarded with more and more work when we wish we could have taken a break. We may see how this can end up, so we slack off and let the business of our dreams fade away. Or maybe we have this idea of having our own place on the Internet. We create a page, then we have different ideas to put on it. Then we think of starting a business with it. Then we also want to have a newsletter for people. Then we want to do web pages for others. Then we go back and work on ways to get people to read our newsletter. But we need a better web site. So we start from scratch and the circle continues. Having too many things we would like to do can stop us as well. Personally, I've become an expert at getting out of my own way when it comes to doing things. After all, I have gotten in my own way over and over and over again for years. I still fit the last one. So many different areas that interest me, I have jumped from one thing to another to another. Like many of the books on the bookshelf at home, I don't think I have ever finished one of them all the way through. We stop ourselves in any number of ways. - I'm not good enough: Well, on Monday, a group of students will be given a lecture by the worst teacher. The worst actor will star in a made-for-television movie. And the worst boy band will put on a mini show for friends and family in their garage. - No one will be interested: Just look around at some of the things you see on television or read in newspapers or books or magazines. It is amazing some things have lasted this long. - I'm too old/young: Colonel Sanders was in his eighties when he began his Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant. Anne Frank was a young girl when she wrote her diary which is still published and read to this very day throughout the world. - I don't know what I want to do: You may not know exactly what you want to do, but there is something in the back of your mind that is important. Especially if you know you're not happy in what you are doing now, you know there is more you want out of life. - I want to do too much: No one says you can't do a little of everything. Just have to pick one that will set the groundwork for the others. Find what is the common thread in the things you would like, and start there. You can branch off once that foundation is in place. - The universe is out to get me: Ummmmm. Not at all. Once you make up your mind and begin heading in some direction, the universe will open up in ways you can't see right now. People will come into your life, events will take place, and you will begin to see a bit further each day. But you have to make the first moves. Motivational speaker Les Brown in his book "It's Not Over Until You Win," tells a story of a keynote speaker at a National Speakers Association conference he attended. The speaker was perhaps the worst speaker Les had ever heard. The man spoke in a monotone voice and was dull as a butter knife. By the end of his presentation, more than two-thirds of the audience had walked out. The speaker, noticing this said something that pretty much sums up this column. "The reason I am up here (Doing) and you are sitting down there (watching) is because I represent the thoughts you have rejected for yourself." Give yourself a chance and get out of your own way.
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