Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Disaster Blog

As my profile notes, I live in Northern Minnesota. Also, I live on a river. One of the ones that flooded higher than the previous record set in 1950. I have spent my life on the volunteer or donator side of such events and hoped that I would never have to experience how it felt to be on the receiving end.

I have not been disappointed by the generosity of people. I’m still too busy to stop and be overwhelmed, but it is what I would have hoped to have seen from my fellow human beings. It is after all one of the things that defines us as human. Other animals in need of help will attack a person who is trying to help them. We have to shoot bears with big darts and sedate them before we can rescue them. Human beings work together with perfect strangers and don’t think it is strange at all.

It is the rest of the world that continues to look stranger as each day brings a new challenge. When I log in to check my emails and let friends know how things are, I see the news about politicians arguing over a 1 or 2 percent change in the budget, or the latest squabble between celebrities that I’ve never heard of. That always seemed strange to me but looks all that much weirder now.

I live where others come to play.  As I take my car load of mud soaked laundry in to wash, I see people biking or boating by. On the one hand it seems crass, like they don’t care. On the other hand, we need that to continue like normal. It will keep our local economy vibrant.

I understand that not everybody can drop what they are doing and come help me. I’m not suggesting that is what is needed. We all have jobs and mundane daily tasks to tend to or important life events to experience.

There are those who might ask,” but what can I do”. Or say, “I feel so helpless just watching it”. That’s fine. We’re fine. But if you aren’t already, do something. If you have time, but can’t make it here, go help somebody else. Do whatever you can do. It doesn’t have to hurt. If 49% of the people helped the 50% of the people who are worse off than them, the 1% would be standing there with their jaws flapping around. We would be having a very different conversation.

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