Our thoughts and prayers are with all the folks affected by Hurricane Sandy on the east coast. As I write this I am watching the news, which includes considerable coverage of the storm's extensive impact. It clearly devastated millions of people, and the news also interviewed many of them. I found it interesting that every single person on the news tonight said, "I need," or "We need," and asked for something from their neighbors, countrymen or government. Not one person said thank you to the National Guard, cleanup crews, or individuals handing out supplies during the news segment. It was much the same last night. One man was at a loss that his two homes were both affected. No said how they were going to rebuild, but rather how with enough help they would rebuild. I realize this doesn't represent the entire population, but it seems to be the general response of most towns, neigborhoods and people the media has come across.
I couldn't help but think back to this summer, and the weather related disasters that occured closer to home, including the over one million acres burned by wildfires in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota. These fires consumed homes, generational businesses, livelihoods, livestock, and took numerous people's lives. These people also dealt without power and other modern conveniences, for weeks in some cases, in the middle of a record breaking hot summer As with the hurricane, they will take years to recover from.
One surprisingly common response to my posts by people who live in eastern, more urban areas of our country was that mother nature was taking back what was rightfully hers, and what had been mismanaged for too long by people like my family. To say it politely, such disrespectful and uninformed comments were frustrating, irritating, and hurtful. I can't help but wonder if those people feel mother nature did the same thing in their backyard, but find it doubtful they would respond the same way about their own home, possessions, businesses, animals and family members.
I also interviewed a lot of people affected by the western fires, and every single one of them began by giving heartfelt thanks to God, followed by thanking friends, neighbors, firemen, strangers and anyone else that had helped and aided in putting the fires out and rebuilding afterward. Each one also stated that they would rebuild, and help those around them rebuild. No one asked for anything but prayers.
I find the contrast in our country concerning, and very noticable in light of the multiple weather related incidents that have affected various parts of the U.S. in the last year. We are all keeping the east coast in our prayers out here in the west. But, we're also well aware of the implications of their response in comparison to our own. This isn't a difference that is going away anytime soon either, and that is also very concerning.
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