January 8, 1997
At the risk of being
labeled an unmitigated optimist I need to say a few good
things that have come out of the Flood of '97.
Disasters are a learning
experience and learning is good. One thing that a disaster,
such as our flood, makes very apparent is that there are way
more good people in the world than there are unsavory ones.
The news media focuses almost entirely on the morally
offensive population... giving them front pages, headline
news, top story status in order to sensationalize and
attract attention to their publication, radio or television
news programs. The greater majority of good people never get
much of a mention because their lives are considered
ordinary and uninteresting.
But give us a disaster
and these people pop up and help their fellow man... not
wanting to gain "little hero" status or be celebrated with
tickertape parades or monuments in the park. They just do
what they do everyday... go about life looking after
themselves, their families, their jobs, their homes and
being considerate of the rights of others. When need arises
their everyday kindness is extended to help those in need of
help. It happens all the time in the lives of the great
majority of population... the good people.
Therefore lesson number
one: Most people are good people.
Disasters often put us at
the mercy of circumstances. Shelters are established.
Alternatives to life in a shelter are moving in with friends
and relatives for brief periods of time, or traveling to
safe areas and staying in campgrounds or motels. Devising
ways to cope are necessary because even in the best,
friendliest situations there are inconveniences to be
contended with. Change is very stressful for many
Lesson number two:
When a 'throw and go'
disaster hits we are all faced with incredible decisions.
Just what is it that we really want/need to take along.
Space and time are limited and choices must be made. People
attach sentiment to strange things. Will they contribute to
survival? What would be more useful in their place?
Lesson number three:
Discovering what you can do without.
And when evacuation ends
and and you return to your possessions it's time to
re-evaluate and seriously consider your surroundings.
Everyone hangs on to stuff way longer than it is useful to
them. Maybe someone else could use it... maybe you could
sell it... maybe it's simply taking up too much space in
Lesson number four:
Simplify your life.
Our flood has happened to
all of us at the very beginning of the New Year... a time
when we all usually reorganize and resolve our plans for the
next 12 months. Some definitely have way more problems than
others, but it is a new starting point for everyone.
And when a year starts
like this one has... it can only get better!
Best Wishes to you for