Monday, September 25, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 9, 1445 H
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Citizens of tomorrow, children of today

Earth has been regularly communicating in its own way but maybe we have not been good listeners

Nature needs no words to express. And it recently expressed its fury.

Communication is a simple process of transmitting a message by the sender to the receiver and the receiver in turn responds. We have applied this even with artificial intelligence.

This is generally what happens during an interpersonal communication. There is a two way process that goes on, which uses verbal and non verbal communication process.

What is interesting is that according to experts, non verbal communication is used 93 per cent of time in communication and just about 7 per cent in words to convey a message. And this is when it is amongst us, humans.

Now we can imagine if nature wants to give a feedback to everything we have been doing because if you think about it all our actions must have a feedback and a response.

Earth has been regularly communicating in its own way but maybe we have not been good listeners. The receiver is the listener. But many times even in our regular conversations we find it hard to focus especially if the topic is of no interest to us.

Science continues to debate on the impact of pollution and what is effecting climate change. Some are obvious yet as our technology moves on to further sophistication it is so easy to get disconnected with nature.

But this month nature showed its response or feedback and we had to sit up, listen, watch and think. Not just that, the incidents have left nations not in just a state of crisis but might have been taken backward when it comes to development. It is not a video game.

There is no reset button except to start all over again. Two calamities - an earthquake in Morocco and a storm that led to flooding in Libya has given an insight on how quickly nature can redesign a landscape, take away lives and change lives. And most affected are going to be the vulnerable ones - citizens of tomorrow, children of today.

In Morocco there is a teacher who lost all her 32 pupils in the earthquake. In Libya a 11-year-old boy was washed away with the entire family, but was miraculously returned back to the land. Just him. Today his uncle is his guardian.

For the traumatised children the earthquake must be a nightmare they are trying hard to wake up from.

Many of the young scouts and guides have gone, but the rest of the members with no time to cry continue to cheer the other children who are left as orphans due to the flood.

Unicef reported that Initial evaluation indicated that approximately 100,000 children have been impacted by the powerful earthquake that struck Morocco late on Friday night (September 8) - the strongest seismic event to hit the Kingdom since 1960.

Meanwhile, Unicef representative in Libya said that the children of Libya are facing yet again another tragedy after over a decade of conflict and the priority is to scale up life-saving assistance, in particular providing health, water and sanitation supplies, psychosocial support, family tracing and preventing waterborne diseases.

Time is precious.

The aftermath of floods and earthquakes are major issues as previous experiences have shown. The most vulnerable group is children and facing them, as Unicef pointed out are high risk of disease outbreaks, lack of safe drinking water, malnutrition, disruption in learning, and violence.

According to Unicef, children who lose their parents or become separated from their families are more exposed to protection risks, including violence and exploitation.

People might argue that earth’s landmass have always moved and storms have always brewed. We have always been concerned about leaving earth in good condition for the future generations and whether we like it or not, we are left speechless with no one words to console to this young children who have to build life all over again. And alone, in most cases.

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