It could get worse – our best bulwark? People

Hurricane Harvey, collapsed roof / US Department of Defense
Hurricane Harvey, collapsed roof / US Department of Defense

Though we’re still reeling from the hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, droughts, the 2008 financial collapse, and far too much violence, it could get worse.

The realization is settling in that climate change is not a hazy notion but a devastating reality that is here to stay. How will we handle that? Our best bulwark is each other.

The country that we grew up in and counted on has changed beyond recognition and has no grounds for swagger.

Isn’t it curious that although our country clearly has lost its way, when disaster strikes, countless stories restore our faith in humanity? People reach out to each other, form human rescue chains, rescue animals, and perform selfless acts. Here are three of many examples:

  • Chad, the motel owner from India, has owned and operated the Country Inn & Suites in Beaufort, South Carolina for four months. He is waiving his no pet policy during the Hurricane Irma crisis and offers the continental breakfast even to people who aren’t hotel guests.
  • In July on Panama Beach, a human chain saved a family of six from drowning in a dangerous rip current.
  • human chain helped a woman in labor during Hurricane Harvey.

The decent, generous people who go out of their way to help strangers, far out-number the hate-filled racists, devious bottom-feeding politicians, and lobbyists that soil our country. Politicians successfully prey on the fears of a grossly and intentionally misinformed public.

Political battles over voting rights, women’s rights, health care, immigration, climate change, and more make life and death differences to real people, including children. In the face of unprecedented natural disasters, with more to come, these political fights are akin to rearranging the Titanic’s deck chairs.

The tragedy is that if we could rise above pettiness and greed, there is enough for everyone.

Our grand human design is that we are hard-wired to be helpful. As much trouble as we and the planet are in, can you imagine if we didn’t have that going for us?

Although many have done their “soul work” to reach higher levels of tolerance and acceptance, others try desperately to cling to a country that no longer exists.

As we marvel at the myriad examples of generous humanity and absorb these harsh new realities, let us be grateful for every person, every breath, every drop of clean water, every day on our beautiful fragile earth, and reach out to help those in need.

New Community Vision seeks to partner with congregations and community groups to organize frequent occasions to socialize and meet others. Eventually, relationships will form, some may be close, while others may be respectful and functional - which is a blessing in itself.

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