There’s nothing more equalizing than nature itself, and natural disaster. All of us are subject to the power, risk and wrath of floods, tornados, wildfires, and hurricanes. The debate about climate change, whether one agrees or denies the impact that human action and/or inaction has played on the environment in which we live, Mother Nature will have her say. As the western hemisphere and all of its inhabitants continue to endure an historic and unprecedented onslaught of natural disasters in the form of major hurricanes, an 8.5 magnitude earthquake, massive wildfires, and epic flooding in one of America’s most populated urban centers, it seems ludicrous that the debate continues as to the veracity of global warming as an imminent threat to humanity.
The aforementioned disasters alone have caused reservoirs, rivers, creeks and ponds to overflow their banks and completely submerge entire communities and interstate highway systems under water. Everyone within the geographic region of Houston, Texas has suffered the adversity of this disaster, whether rich or poor, black, white or brown. The rising floodwaters did not discriminate and had no specific target. Whether guilty or innocent, if you were in the path of the overflowing water you were adversely affected and most likely suffered loss of one kind or another. It will more likely than not take you a considerable amount of time and resources to recover and be made whole from the disaster, if that is even possible at all. There’s a Bible verse that says “The rain falls on the just and the unjust alike.” If the past few weeks are any indication that assertion rings painfully true in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Irma and the oncoming Jose.
The resources had by some surely overshadow those had by others, but the immediate impact of the disaster brings everyone into a common recognition that we ALL need help. There is acknowledgment that we are a part of a human family that is truly interdependent on one another, even if we don’t want to be. The kindness and courage that rise to the occasion when people need help, whether we know them or they are complete outsiders to us, gives us hope in the kindness of strangers and the common humanity we all share. Thanks to everyone volunteering their time and resources: first responders, healthcare providers, and those on the ground caring for people you don’t know in the time of their greatest need.