Friday morning, around 2:00 AM, I was at work dealing with a major email server problem, when I started noticing the news headlines about the disaster in Japan. It sounded bad, but I was too tired and too preoccupied with my work for the magnitude of that disaster to really sink in.

Later that morning, after a couple hours of sleep, I had to explain to folks at work that half a day’s worth in emails had bounced. At the same time the extent of the situation in Japan came into focus. Some of my co-workers – including my boss – pointed out that the news about Japan really does put our email problems into perspective. Even though I know they were unhappy about the losing a bunch of emails.

As the situation in Japan unfolds and people there scramble to deal with a real disaster, I hope this also serves as a reminder for us to not take our comfort zone for granted. For the most part, we can only watch and recognize the amazing magnitude and intensity of this double-whammy disaster, plus the impending man-made peril to top it off. The threat of a nuclear disaster should also give pause to all of us who are consuming electricity from nuclear power, and especially to all of us who live near a nuclear power plant.

Let’s also not forget the ongoing, man-made disaster in Libya. I really hope that the international community (and the Arab League in particular) soon decides to intervene and try to stop Gaddafi’s troops from killing the Libyan rebels.

We all need to keep our own struggles in perspective. And we all need to give our kids and our loved ones a hug. And we have to try to be there for our fellow man when they need our help.

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