There’s always a quake somewhere

I have an app on my phone that can notify me with a simple, “beep, beep, beep,” that somewhere in the world an earthquake has occurred.

I have the ability to set the notification specs; after a certain magnitude (mine is set at 5.5 or greater), location in the world (I have the entire planet), and the type of notification (as I previously mentioned — beep, beep beep).

The one drawback with the app is that the darn thing will beep incessantly until I open it and see what’s shakin’ and where. There are times when I can’t get to my phone and it sounds like my kitchen when I’m cooking and the smoke alarm serenades me until I yank the thing off the ceiling.

Also, there are times when I forget to mute notifications on my phone when I go to bed, and I’m alerted to an earthquake in Pago Pago at 2:30 in the morning. I’m startled awake, confused as to whether it’s an earthquake, or I’m cooking dinner and slipped into another world.

The app sends earthquake notifications quite often. In fact, if I lowered the magnitude setting, the thing would be beeping day and night. That means that the orb on which we spin and orbit through space is almost constantly rockin’ and rollin’.

The app allows the user to view every tremor that registers on the Richter Scale anywhere in the world, and the daily list is almost always quite lengthy.

As usual, it generally takes me a few paragraphs to get to the crux of my column.

The point I’m trying to make is that our lives tend to imitate good old Mother Earth in that rarely are things calm, quiet and steady. Like the big blue marble we call home, our lives set the seismograph needles in motion more often than we would like. The readings can be almost non-detectable, like a 2.2 rumble, or a catastrophic 7.0 or more.

It’s the larger tremors in life that bring out the best and worst in people who make up the fabric of our lives.

Too often, too many people, at least in my experience, are too quick to point out what they feel are my faults and weaknesses. They smugly point out what I should do to ease the tremors in my life. How someone can think that this is somehow helpful is beyond me.

I’ve often taught my children that anyone who cuts someone down does so to build themselves up.

But just like every day has its dusk, every night has its dawn. Often during the major tremors in one’s life, there are those who are there to stabilize our surroundings, not add to the commotion.

Often these guardian angel-type people do it without even knowing it — but that doesn’t mean it’s done by accident or coincidence. People who say and do the right thing for those in quake mode, do so because it’s in their heart and soul and nature to do it.

And as most of us know, it doesn’t take much to quell the quaking, if even for a little while. It can be an email out of the blue; a text message of support; a phone call of encouragement and appreciation; a simple “thumbs-up” like on Facebook.

I’ve been blessed to have all of those come my way in recent weeks and days. I’ve also had the fault-finders, but those individuals have quickly fallen into the quake’s abyss with a simple nudge from a well-timed call or message.

I’d like to thank all the folks who have helped quiet the quakes in my life. Be assured of my prayers.

And my prayers also go to the critics and fault-finders, that you may realize just how hurtful and deflating your comments can be — earthquakes in and of themselves.

Got to go now, my phone is telling me there is an earthquake somewhere — maybe calling for an email, or a text, or a simple thumbs-up.

© 2018 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing   †   Fall River, Massachusetts