I can "shut Katrina off"
It has been almost two weeks since this catastrophe overwhelmed New Orleans. With avid fascination we watched as the storm was predicted and we, along with the rest of the world, tracked its progress toward the Florida Coast. As we don't have extreme weather where we live, we are fascinated by this phenonmenon.
Even after the storm hit, and passed, in that first day after, I don't believe anyone really had a clear picture of what damage Katrina would ultimately leave in her wake. Like a poorly filmed disaster movie, Katrina fulfilled tragic scenarios on fronts that even talented authors could not come up with. Besides all of the physical destruction, the human element was what really set this incident apart. We've become so sheltered in our affluent society that when people began to crack under the emotional stress created in the wake of this disaster, we had to all face the 'what if' question for ourselves. I don't think anyone would have believed the way people took advantage of this crisis to justify bad behaviour. But desperation does weird things to normal people.
Equally disheartening is the blaming and finger pointing. Yes, there should have been better preperations provided for these people, but I cannot believe that ANYONE knowingly ignored the
seriousness of what could happen...but does anyone ever look at one of those sensational movies and think "what if that happened to us?" Because thats what Katrina played out like in the end. If you saw that in a movie, you would think that "thats just a movie, can't happen in real life!" And besides, thats the past now, its time we all moved on to what to do so that this does not happen again in the future.
Katrina has given me the gift to treasure each moment more closely. None of us can know what could befall us tomorrow.
For all the awfulness that Katrina imposed in our lives, she also left a gift. Watching people from all over the world pour out their generosity to the victims has touched me so deeply. Individuals from small children selling lemonade, to entire countries (some even enemies of the US) giving of themselves. How can that not move one's heart? I think we all have to acknowledge that no one is an island, and if something were to befall us that our global community is there to support us.
Another uplifting thought is seeing some of the poor, because there were a lot of people who lived below the poverty line in the affected area, now have a chance at a better life, through relocation.
Now, just under two weeks after Katrina, I can 'turn her off'. I've steeled myself to follow all of the news and interviews and radio shows for the past few weeks. I am emotionally broken to the vicitims. And while I don't want to 'turn Katrina off' I know at this point I need to, to digest and process it all and pray. And while I can do this, many cannot, because their lives are touched directly by Katrina, their lives have been altered and reshaped by her. I pray for you all, that you might rise from this event and become renewed. None of us will ever forget.
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