Floods are natural and have happened and are happening in other parts of the world.
This particular flood in Tamilnadu and especially the one which has hit my home city of Chennai and neighbouring locales may have happened due to many man-made or natural reasons...what we can now see is only destruction and desolation, lives lost, families separated, livelihood annihilated and people having to reinvent themselves all over again.
What stories can we tell people in Crisis?
What stories do we tell when children face a Crisis?
But before we Tell...we need to Listen...and listen deeply.
Listen to the pain and anguish
Listen to the fear and frustration
Listen to the confusion and uncertainity
Listen to the disappointment, sadness, yearning.
Listen to the guilt and blame
Listen the anger and irritation
Listen to the rage and fury
Then... tell them Stories...
for yesterdays sorrow is today's story and tomorrow's sorrow is a future story..
I found a lovely link to how people and community healers took to helping the people in flood affected Indonesia. They are used to floods but not used to water rising so rapidly without warning.
So what stories can we tell:
Tell stories from your own Life
Tell a Folktale
Tell a Myth
Tell stories that reflect Hope
Tell stories that reflect Change and passage of Time
Tell stories that reflect Loss and despair
Tell stories that lead to love and laughter...letting go
Tell stories that question the Choices we have
Here is a link to Healing Stories Alliance, which has some wonderful stories to share when we are in Crisis.
I especially like two stories
Yama and Yami and how yesterday was created and how Yami learnt to cope with the loss of Yama through many yesterdays...
I also liked the story by Sri Ramakrishna, where a weaver shows us that we need to dance with both hands, and even if one hand is holding on to whatever it is...then we cannot find complete joy
Studies have also shown that sharing real life stories of Survival and Courage of people who faced similar situations has the maximum impact on those who have been traumatised.
I personally feel, we need to tell and share more personal stories, for they are real and tangible, and so lived and felt.
I am still looking for stories...
Perhaps you would like to share some of your stories
I leave you with a poem...
It takes strength to be firm,
It takes courage to be gentle.
It takes strength to conquer,
It takes courage to surrender.
It takes strength to be certain,
It takes courage to have doubt.
It takes strength to fit in,
It takes courage to stand out.
It takes strength to feel a friend's pain,
It takes courage to feel your own pain.
It takes strength to endure abuse,
It takes courage to stop it.
It takes strength to stand alone,
It takes courage to lean on another.
It takes strength to love,
It takes courage to be loved.
It takes strength to survive,
It takes courage to live.