Having looked at so many pictures of so much destruction I was wondering if we didn't know where they were being taken where we would guess they came from. Not our own Gulf Coast I would wager. I listened to the local news anchors comment over and over how hard all this is to comprehend. Yet I never heard them say the same about the Tsunami or the looting and killings in Iraq or the multiple horrors going on in Africa. Not with the same passion for sure. More simply a passing "How awful, tsk, tsk."
We are so far removed from the everyday realities of the rest of the world its frightening. It struck me first when the Jersey Girls emerged from 9/11. Not to diminish the tragedy one bit but those women had well paid and insured husbands and the government, out of a misplaced sense of guilt, ponied up, what, a million a piece for them? Plus all the monies that came from the benefits held for them? Will they do the same for the thousands of displaced people from a natural disaster? I doubt it.
FEMA was created to deal with disaster relief. They haven't even gotten their act together for the damage in Florida from last season. Now under Homeland Security they hypothesize on what to do in case of a bioterror attack. And who is to fill the gap when Old Mother Nature rears her discontented head?? Planning came up a tad short. All the fancy communications in the world are useless without power. So are hospitals, transportation, food storage facilities, water sources and on and on. It should sure give the Quakies waiting for the "Big One" to have pause. What's in place now isn't going to cut it.
If my memory serves me we started to be a nation of victims during the Vietnam war. It doesn't seem to be abating. We've become so self absorbed that we think such things don't happen to us. Same as locally with the horrors we watched unfold in our own community throughout the spring and summer. Things like that don't happen here - not to us.
Well, they do. Our arrogance has cost us our stature in the world and our own sense of self. It's always someone else's fault. Not In My Back Yard is another symptom of our self absorption.
We do pull together but for a time as short as a sound bite. We had best get past partisan politics and start looking at what we've become as a country, a community, a family - lest we become the third world nation we've ignored elsewhere.