Four-legged animals, like a dog or cat, are able to pick-up tremors of an earthquake before us humans can. Also since there are several hundred small earthquakes a day throughout the world, our pets now and then may act mysteriously erratic. We are left with no clue as to why.
When an earthquake of some magnitude (of over 3) is finished, it generally is not finished. It usually is followed by aftershocks; actually these are additional earthquakes triggered by the first one. Aftershocks are usually not powerful, yet sometimes can be.
The entire crust of the earth is vulnerable to quakes. Of recent our quakes have been mostly in Japan, Haiti, Chili, Fiji, Tonga and California. These locations are in very active seismic areas. The San Andreas Fault, which runs the full length of California, puts that entire state in an earthquake-alert area.
The National Earthquake Center logs 12,000-14,000 small quakes a year with an average magnitude 2. Earthquakes less than magnitude 2 happen several hundred times a day worldwide. In spite of all the ongoing and constant shifting in the earth’s crust, the very best scientists with the best of seismic equipment are unable to give much accuracy to their earthquake predictions.
All of us possess something of a seismic force that initiates aftershocks on those with whom we associate. The quake we send to each other may be quite profound but usually not. Every encounter or conversation carries with it an emotional and rational interpersonal impact. Our appearance, behavior, actions, words and mannerisms, all carry power to influence. The fact is, all our human contacts create an influence (aftershock) on one another. The longer the contact/conversation/relating, the greater we invade each other. No one is an island unless actually living alone on one. There is an inevitable reciprocity of influence in all interpersonal contacts.
It is amazing how even just a momentary contact with someone on the street or someone behind a McDonald’s counter, leaves something of that person in us and vice versa. We all experience a mental/emotional interfacing [an “aftershock”] from each other. Sometimes we are deeply moved or impressed; even “blown away” as the saying goes; but rarely so.
Of course people of prominence and leadership have an amplified seismic influence — parents on their children, teachers on their students, rulers on their subjects and pastors on their flocks. Acknowledging that none of us live in a vacuum-sealed bubble but are receiving and transmitting real “vibes”, warrants serious management of with whom we choose to spend our time. Also, it is important to reflect as to why someone really impresses us and is influencing change in us.
“Interpersonal Aftershocks” – the impact we have on one another – are the constructs of our daily lives. At the end of each day we are all a little different than when we began it. We are not an inanimate rock but a living, changing and growing creature.
We certainly live in an exciting world of “aftershocks,” quietly giving and receiving one another.
The Rev. John Burkhart Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and retired professor of psychology. Contact him at email@example.com.