It’s a unique part of being human — tragedy, hardship, loss and pain tend to bring people together. It seems like it would be prosperity, success, everything going good that brings people together. Not so, at least, not usually.
Case in point is Hurricane Harvey. For those not directly affected, this may be a meaningless example, or at least, not as poignant. But for those who have experienced it, even if only a part, it is a horrible time for so many people. At the same time, it’s somehow refreshing, like a root of hope has blossomed.
I’ll be candid. I’m proud of the way Texas has handled this situation. There will always be someone belly aching, and there will always be someone getting a camera stuck in their face who will show out or say something less than wise.
This storm, however, has caused the heart to warm in so many ways because of so many people’s selfless actions. Rains, tragedy, flooding, death, loss have all created a cementing bond among the people. And you know, it’s really that way in most tragedies, if the majority of the people are good willed.
I feel for the people of Charlottesville, Virginia, who now have a torn portrait of who they are. By and large, most people there are just like everywhere else….they are good folks. Unfortunately, two opposing groups marched in. Apparently, neither group intended to use their first amendment rights peaceably, nor try to put forward their thoughts reasonably in the market place of ideas. Rather, they fought.
There is a time to fight. Just make sure it’s for the right thing, at the right time.
In Charlottesville, both sides fought in the wrong way, for the wrong reasons, at the wrong time. The results are bad for everyone.
What’s happened this week here in Texas, however, has been vastly different. You see it everywhere here! Food drives, relief drives, blood drives, fund accounts are everywhere! Pictures and videos of black, white, Hispanic and Asian people helping each other are the norm. You see the rich beside the poor, elderly beside young, able bodied beside disabled, Republicans and Democrats side by side, hand in hand. It’s great!
You see the make shift Texas Navy, of which two of my sons and a son-in-law have been volunteering this week. People are volunteering their time, boats, gas and resources, without expectation, simply to get people to safety. It’s amazing to see boat after boat of volunteers helping fellow citizens in a time of trouble!
When the water is up and you’re trapped in your house, your race, color, creed, national origin, religion is of no significance. It is simply neighbor helping neighbor. In the middle of this storm, beauty emerges from the helping hearts and hands of people bound together, not by prosperity, not by diversity, but bound together by tragedy into unity.
People aren’t looking at their differences — they are looking at their commonalities. In other words, diversity divides — unity guides.
I once heard a man say he always hoped for problems on family vacations. He explained that problems along the way made the best vacations, and by far, the best memories. He said they were once broken down in the middle of the painted desert and at the time, it wasn’t one bit of fun. But now, now his grown kids love to tell the story as one of their most cherished childhood memories. One year they went tent camping and a tropical storm blew in on them. They were cold; the tent kept blowing over; their food was all ruined, and they were stuck for three days. He said it was the best vacation EVER! His whole family has such fond memories of being united as one to overcome the hardship. On one hand, it makes no sense whatsoever. On the other hand, it’s beautiful!
Granted, there will be some people in Hurricane Harvey who will not just be looking to recover. They won’t be trying to limit their losses, not even hope to break even, much less give to others, but they will be looking to profit. They will want other people, insurance, the government, someone to take care of them hand and foot. By and large though, that isn’t the majority of folks in Texas.
Most people here are good, not perfect, but good. People around here tend to take care of their own and take responsibility for their actions. Sometimes though, a small group can outshine the majority.
It’s like going into Walmart where there always seems to be one ill behaved, five-year-old kid throwing a blood curling, temper tantrum and screaming at the top of his lungs while his parents pretend everything is perfectly fine. Everyone around them is disturbed and is pretty much thinking the same thing…swat that kid’s heinie! Everyone is bothered by the temper tantrum and goes home saying how bad kids are nowadays. No, they’re not! There may have been a hundred well behaved, happy kids at Walmart at the same time as the wailing brat. We tend to forget, or not even notice, the 100 quiet, well behaved kids, but remember the snotty nose brat and his ineffective parents.
There will be people interviewed on the news who will whine, complain and say they need someone to spread the free peanut butter given to them on their sandwich. They are not, however, the majority. The majority, just like the majority of America, is reaching out to give help to those in need. In kind, those who have been helped turn around and reach out to help others in need. Again, it’s beautiful!
May the Texas Navy continue to sail, may helped hands return as helping hands, and may God bless Texas!