In Washington, Oregon, California, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and so many other places just in the United States a great many people have lost everything: their homes, sometimes their pets, their families, because of fires and hurricanes, Some people have lost absolutely everything; some have lost only part of their house or lost their house but they all got out alive. Many people say, “How terrible! It’s a tragedy” and it is, it truly is. 

But you can learn from other peoples’ loss and grief.Look around your room, your house, your yard. Look at things carefully, and think, “If my house had been in the firestorm, this would be gone now.” “If my house had been in the path of the huge hurricane, this would be gone, or broken, or really blown away. My toys, my books, my game devices, the bed where I slept last night: they would all be gone!”

This is not to make you depressed, truly, but it will make you think of what’s important. Would you really miss your computer games most, or would it be the book your grandmother gave you when you were ten, just before she died? Would you miss your bed, or would you miss being told, “Good night, sleep well!”? And if only you survived, who would you miss the most? 

Now: take all these sad feelings, all these worried thoughts, and realize: people who are in war zones have to do this almost every day. Bombs, like hurricanes, fall where they will: sometimes one house will be destroyed but not the one right next to it. Soldiers shoot guns and sometimes they hit what they wanted to hit or need to hit, but sometimes a bullet can kill someone standing right next to you. Look at the places where a firestorm has hit, or a hurricane, and then look at pictures of WWII: they look the same!

Then understand: you can’t stop hurricanes very well, and sometimes there isn’t much you can do about fires, but you can always stop war, if you really want to do so. Always.

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