All that we really have is now and each other, all that we really need is a hope for our future. When these things are realised, I think we are usually in a position of humbled compassion.
It's sad that it seems to take a tragedy for us to realize that it's not how much money you have in your bank account (but how you use it, partly), it's not the type of car you drive, the brand of clothes you wear that is the reward for our existence. The richest thing you can have in life, besides a sense of humor, is a compassionate, unselfish love for those around you.
No amount of money can buy good relationships, though enough money may pay for a relationship counsellor who possibly could improve your relationships.
What I think I'm trying to say is why do we get so distracted with things that don't matter? We seem to get comfortable with the way things are, lulled into a false sense of security, we become ungrateful, complacent. We seem to forget that life is temporary because it doesn't change much for a period of time. We become comfortable with the way things are.
Then the unthinkable happens. But that only happens to other people, right? Not this time. It only takes a minute for lives to be totally transformed, both for the good and the bad. There is a period for all things. And I guess that helps in making all things relative, thus the highs higher, lows lower.
Why is it when we become comfortable in our lives we seem to lose our compassion for our fellow man? Why is it we as society are generally happy to help those we pity, hopefully not because it makes us feel good, but out of genuine selfless compassion, yet we won't help the person who is succeeding, rather we'll criticize their success out of our own insecurities and fears of being left behind.
When a tragedy happens, we are changed because of it. We are still us, but some unseen parts of us will never be the same - it may be obvious, or we may hide these different parts from those around us.
Natural disasters are an example of this. Like seeing green growth after the bush fire has crisped everything to black, the way humanity genuinely cares about each other after a large scale disaster, supports and encourages each other, is the beauty that comes from the tragedy of losing everything but your life.
An increasing amount of us know what it is to lose everything but the clothes on your back. I lost everything I owned in a house fire eleven years ago. When you lose everything, you pick yourself up and you start again. You may have lost everything, but you still have one thing that can never be taken - and they are the memories you carry around inside you.
For me, the most challenging thing was waking to an alternate reality in the morning. Because upon waking, your brain doesn't jump onto the fact everything has changed because of whatever event. Things could be the same, you aren't thinking about it upon waking generally. But once you're awake the reality inevitably creeps in, and that reminder is heavy, sometimes enough so to take your breath away as your brain wakes up enough to get your head around the way things now are. And sometimes when you wake to a new reality you come to find the nightmares of the past easier to bear.
That feeling of compassion, wanting to help other people because you care about them, taking the time to check those around you are okay, even though you're yet to know them, that is a beautiful thing, and it's sad that the spirit of it can't be bottled for when we all get too busy and start forgetting to care about each other.