Sunday, August 6, 2017

Nuclear Distractions

On this day in 1945, the world was about to change in dramatic ways that we likely still don't fully comprehend.  On this day in 1945, the first nuclear bomb was used in war.

The effects of that bomb obliterated much of Hiroshima--and vaporized some of it.  There were reports of people fused into pavement and glass--or just vanished, with a trace remaining at the pavement.  The reports of the survivors who walked miles in search of help or water are grim.  And many of those survivors would die of the effects of radiation in the coming years.

On this day, and on August 9, in 1945, nuclear weapons were used in war, and so far, we haven't used them in war again.  We have been lucky that nuclear weapons are so complicated and pose such a health risk in terms of radiation that terrorists have stayed away from them.

Let us do all that we have in our power to do to make sure that these weapons are not used again.

We may not feel like we have much power to have any impact on nuclear treaties.  Until recently, we might not have worried about it.  Now, like many people, I find myself thinking about North Korea and wondering what road we're travelling here.  I spend too much time thinking about North Korea.

Today is a good day to think about what distractions, atomic, cosmic, personal or otherwise, take our attention away from the true work.  Today is also a good day to meditate on power and how we seek to harness it and how we use power once we have it.

Today is also a great day to celebrate the transfiguring possibility of power.  After all, not all uses of power lead to destructive explosions.  Some times, we find redemption.

On this anniversary of the Hiroshima blast, I am aware of the very temporary nature of our lives and our artifacts.  One fine morning we can be eating breakfast one minute, or walking to work, and then, in one blast, in just a few seconds, we're fused into the concrete.  It's a sobering thought, and a good one to have, to move our hearts to gratitude for a day where we're not facing a thermonuclear blast, where we don't have to deal with an electromagnetic pulse, where our loved ones are still here, on this side of the earth.

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