Since the earth moved in Christchurch on Tuesday, there has been a lot of talk about what is important in life. How ultimately, buildings and cars and things are not important, but people are.
The reporters refer to people looking for their loved ones - though frankly, they over-use this term but that's me the writer complaining, not me the person. Because as a person, I understand that the term loved ones is more accurate.
There has been little use of the word family, because I think everyone seems to understand that when the chips are down, when tragedy strikes, we are all family. And that referring simply to family right now, in Christchurch or throughout New Zealand, is too limited, too "nuclear." It is a term, as we all have felt in this community, that excludes or isolates people. (I wrote this three years ago.) And right now, no-one can be excluded. We are all connected. Pure and simple. We are connected through blood relationships, but just as important we are linked through love, through proximity, through a shared interest, shared work, or even a shared commute. We are linked by a common tragedy. And we are all just one big family, and no-one is excluded, for any reason.