What you need to know:
- Death tolls from the floods ranged from 4,000 to more than 11,000. The destructive nature of the flood left some survivors without homes, or access to food or clean drinking water, which raised great concern of disease raging through the city, leading to an even greater death toll.
Sometimes in life things that seem like unsolvable dilemmas happen. But when you proactively search for answers, you will be shocked to realise that the said dilemma only seemed unsolvable because you were looking at it the wrong way.
As a teacher, I understand clearly that usually, the questions you ask will guide the answers you get, which will determine whether you solve the dilemma or accept defeat.
I have recently been trying to understand the Libyan flood disaster. In September, the Libyan city of Derna was hit by a destructive flood. The heavy rainfall from Mediterranean storm Daniel caused two dams, built in the 1970s, to burst, letting water rush into the city, destroying entire neighborhoods.
Death tolls from the floods ranged from 4,000 to more than 11,000. The destructive nature of the flood left some survivors without homes, or access to food or clean drinking water, which raised great concern of disease raging through the city, leading to an even greater death toll.
The burst dams had been visibly cracked since 1998, and angered flood survivors called into question Libyan leaders’ negligence towards protecting their infrastructure. Administration within the region fired the entire city council, along with the mayor of Derna.
One survivor raged against the municipal officials, blaming them for ignoring their warnings. This tragic incident, which exposes human nature, holds a trove of lessons in our personal lives, relationships and careers.
I am sure the construction of these dams must have unlocked the economic potential of the area, which led to the city’s development. What is very human about this tragedy is how an entire population noticed a potential danger and did nothing more than petition the authorities. Even though they could see disaster looming, they chose to stay. Why? Was it hope, procrastination or complacency?
Which brings me to my point; why do many of us continue to tolerate things that were once useful and life-supporting but have since become toxic and dangerous to our lives? Why is that crack in the wall of your home not enough to make you realise that your house is due for renovation? Why do you wait to be in so much pain before you see a doctor? Why do you need an outsider to tell you that your relationship is dysfunctional and poses a danger to your life?
How much warning do you need to act? I hate to burst your bubble but very rarely do circumstances sort themselves out. Many situations require actual work to be resolved.
Today, I want us to adopt a new mantra: If it is broken fix it. The sooner you fix it, the less damage it will cause in your life.
As the year comes to an end, I want you to sit down with a pen and paper and note down all things in your life that are cracked; whether physical, emotional or financial.
For the next few weeks, think of the ways you can fix them. It is so important that we understand the power we have over every facet of our lives, only when we do, then we can truly show up more confidently in our skills and our abilities.
Let me be clear, this is not just another “you just do it” speech nor am I saying that your challenging circumstances are not real. This is me reminding you of your power and urging you to open yourself up to new possibilities even when there are obstacles present. Saying something is impossible is one way of saying that we are unwilling to try. .
I know many people who have given up on any hope for their lives to change. They do not try anymore, especially because they feel as if all their efforts always come to nothing. But do you know the difference between losers and winners?
Winners are willing to try one more time, even when it looks as if they have done all they can. The faith to push themselves beyond every limitation makes all the difference.
If you feel as if your dam has already burst, remember it is never too late. As long as you have life, nothing is impossible. You might not have found a way forward. Or you have not yet figured out how to do it. The right question to ask right now is “what can I do differently?”