I’ve watched quite a bit of news these last several weeks. Way more than I usually do. The news turns me off – too much fact spinning and ugliness. I’ve watched because, I was either concerned about those dealing with the hurricanes, or those dealing with wildfires and the dangerous air quality issues resulting from the smoke. The news is depressing, but then I happened to see a great interview. Do you remember Fred Rogers from Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood? He was talking about something that he’d learned from his dear mother. She taught him that whenever scary things happen, “look for the helpers – they’re always there”. Yes, they are Mrs. Rogers, and I very much appreciate those words today.
Yes, disasters bring out the worst in human nature, but they also bring out the best. Neighbors banding together to help a woman in a high-risk pregnancy and the worst of conditions, to safely deliver her baby. A man using his jet-ski to evacuate others to safety. The families of first responders, having to deal with the disaster and worry alone, because their loved one must go and serve their community. A man giving the last generator to a woman who needed it for her oxygen tank dependent father. Medical and mental health personnel, putting their lives on hold, to be deployed to deal with the aftermath of disasters.
America. When disaster strikes, there is no question of whether or not someone deserves assistance. They aren’t asked about their religious beliefs, or political views. The color of skin isn’t a factor. We aren’t who the political machine says that we are. We need not believe the loud voice, that says we are weak minded, and that words can destroy us. We are brave enough to help each other, and selfless enough to sacrifice for each other, and tough enough to listen to each other, and we can be respectful when we disagree with each other. We are Americans.