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February 27, 2010

We’re not Connected

by Yahya E. B. Henry

As the world braces for a tsunami, I’m working to understand this idea of “not being connected” as proposed by a CNN guest. CNN often has so-called ‘subject matter experts (SME)’ to support a given news segment. This morning they played host to a Georgia Tech Assistant Professor of Geology.  CNN’s SME made an academic case for all of the recent earthquakes in Haiti, Japan and now, Chile to be completely unrelated or connected. Really? His opinion got me to thinking about a larger issue affecting our country.

Last I’d checked, we were on one planet and to suggest that what happens on one side of the planet doesn’t affect the other is, in my opinion, elementary. You may as well say that it’s impossible for me to have  stomachache and headache at the same time. When I look at the overall sentiment of our country, I believe we are infected by a condition I call Issueitis – the separation of pressing issues for the benefit of ego. Case in point, yesterday’s political theater of a health care summit. The idea of having a summit on what should be afforded to everyone is beyond me but that’s another issue.

Our inability to see the interrelationship of our most pressing issues prevents us from identifying sustainable solutions thus resulting in endless debate, division and lack of progress. If you were to ask three different people what these recent earthquakes represented, you’d get three different answers. Here’s my take at their responses:

An Apocalyptic: “The Myan prophecies are being fulfilled.”

Religious leader: “God’s telling us something.”

A Geologist: “They’re unrelated.”

What school of thought you believe ultimately rest with what you identify with most. I propose we open our minds to truly understand the world is getting flatter with each passing day, embrace differences and promote solutions instead of division.

Yahya E. B. Henry

About Yahya E. B. Henry

Merging his passion for cities, real estate, tech and travel, Yahya is introducing the world to a new model of real estate development that draws from best practices around the globe.

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  • Hey Yahya,

    I was also thinking about the arbitrariness of nations and borders when this earthquake hit Chile. When I heard that the tremors were felt as far away as Japan, I thought, of course they were, it happened on the same planet. This dynamic, ever-changing planet we live on.

    I was also thinking about the concept of natural disasters. What disaster isn't natural?
    Whether it is a geological 'disaster' that is a result of the earth's natural processes or if it is a human-made disaster (aren't we part of the natural order of things?), it is nonetheless natural or devastating.

    Thanks for starting this conversation. Looking forward to know what others think…

  • I think that's my point Liz, it's all connected. Natural occurrences are natural occurrences; I think we label it for some type of mental satisfaction. In the end our insignificant attempts at describing we live on are good for news segments and commentary. My two cents though…

  • Maybe it keeps people from panicking. If I think that earthquakes only happen in Japan and not in my home, I have less to worry about. But of course this is far from the truth. It seems like these disasters are happening in increasing measures. We definitely have to remember that we are connected when it relates to coming to the aid of the disaster victims…

  • Great points Adia, thanks for your feedback.

  • Great points Adia, thanks for your feedback.

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