Trying to put life experiences into perspective

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Nephew Brad and I decided to go to Kristen's Kitchen on Saturday morning for coffee, and in my case breakfast. We pulled in next to Thornton's Lockworks truck, maybe in for a coffee break I thought. Then I saw the technician working at the entrance door opposite the one normally used by customers. What's going on?

A sign taped to the window beside the usual entry said, "Closed until further notice."

I won't go into the reasons for this change in the place that as been the focal point of our village for several years. It does make most ironic my off hand-remark about the noisy crowd last week being good for business.

How do we determine the importance of a catastrophe?

On the global level are natural disasters, storms, earthquakes, wildfires, droughts that leave Earth's soils fertilized with decaying remains of everything from microscopic life to great trees and beasts. Clearly there is no distinction made for any life form, humanity included.

There are social and political upheavals like the one unfolding in the Crimea. Power ripples through the body of Mother Russia, the Bear not permanently crippled by collapse of the USSR.

It's embarrassing to listen to the rhetoric of Canada's Minister of Foreign affairs trying to mollify the citizens who demand he use our international leadership position to embarrass Putin. Next to President Obama, whose efforts are as impotent as John Baird's, Canada has as much clout on the world stage as a beaver kit.

In matters of legal dispute, the common law carries great weight in resolving cases. Lawyers search court records for examples to support their clients' claims. What if, since the residents of the Crimea voted decisively to rejoin the country of their ancestors, lawyers point to 1950 when Britain recognized the state of Israel? It would be infinitely better to let the precedent be used than to let slip the dogs of war.

Where does one place the horror show in Syria in the catalogue of catastrophe?

What of the lobbing of short-range missiles by North Korea into the sea in the direction of Japan? The Supreme Leader appears to be aping Putin in calling his action normal defensive measures.

Is the disappearance of the Malaysian jetliner nearly two weeks ago important enough to be given more media time than the situation in The Ukraine? To the relatives and friends of the 239 people on board the likely answer is yes. The number is insignificant in comparison to the masses of deaths that would result from settling the political question with weapons of today's sort.

Friday's London Free Press front page gave a disgusting look into what journalists may deem important enough to shove all these topics off page one and even to relegate the editorial page to section two. Who's going to win the prizes in the Lotto MAX draw? That masses of readers agree with the editorial decision helps to explain why senators and others have no sense of shame for skimming the public purse.

You may have witnessed someone having a meltdown over a torn fingernail. That's possibly the subatomic level of catastrophe.

The assessment of importance of any given event may be compared to the old saw, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We see happenings through the lens of our own experience. The older we get, the more sensitive our lens, I hope!




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