The suffering and loss of those whose lives were directly touched by hurricane Katrina saddens me; though the outpouring of support to the victims, through monetary and other donations is a testament to the true nature of our human hearts, and something we should hold strong to, once this tragedy has faded and been forgotten.
It’s the reaction to the hurricane itself that has me shaking my head. To believe that this devastation was allowed to happen, due to Army Corps of Engineer budget cuts, which left the levee as it was, instead of building a bigger, better, stronger one, is just plain ignorant. To believe that the military’s response was lacking in effectiveness, and that they should have been able to magically appear at a moments notice, plowing their way through whatever lay in their path, shows our naïveté when it comes to natural disaster. And that’s what this was folks…a natural disaster; a force of nature, not to be reckoned with!
Will America as a whole learn from this experience…probably not; but there are those who witnessed the raw, ferocious power of that force we often refer to as Mother Nature, whether it was first-hand or from a distance, who were reminded or quite possibly discovered for the first time, how powerless we really are. Yet we’ll go about our lives as we always have, rebuilding those million dollar homes that were wiped out along the waters edge; only we’ll build them bigger and stronger, and maybe just a little closer to the water, because what the heck, this one is built to withstand anything!
We’ll take inventory of our lives and make a list of our personal possessions and what’s truly important to us, all the while trying to figure out a way to keep this from ever happening again. Perhaps it will take a force greater than Katrina to make people take stock in themselves, instead of inventorying their material possessions and realizing that it can all be taken away in the blink of an eye; and that in the end, it doesn’t matter who dies with the most toys, the biggest house or the fattest bank account…we’re all going to die, just as we were all born.
It’s the one common thread that links us, and the one that separates us once it’s cut. We were given this time on earth for a reason. It will be the lessons we learned and the way in which we reacted and overcame adversity that will lead us closer, or farther away, from our ultimate destination. Take stock in who you are, not what you possess. Live in the world, not just on it…and for God’s sake, respect and fear the power of that which we have no control.