Thursday, September 01, 2005

All the news is about Katrina lately...and with good reason. How many Hollywood disaster movies have been made about the destruction of an American city? You'd think we'd be prepared for it, having seen it on the big screen so many times. But since Hollywood isn't known for its realism, we've dismissed just such a possiblility from our collective conciousness in our very human typical, it-can't-really-happen attitude.

And yet, it has. Not only the destruction, but the mayor of New Orleans is now calling for the abandonment of the city. I have a picture of him standing on top of a governmental building shouting out to the city, "Abandon ship! Abandon ship!" It isn't a pleasant image...watching an entire city turn heel and sink.

At the moment, dealing with survivors is the problem of the day. Where to put them...what to feed them...thousands of refugees streaming into surrounding towns, villages, cities. The next problem to creep up has been the looting. I don't think anyone begrudges those who steal to eat or to supply their family with basic needs...but just what the hell do those people think they're going to do with anything electronic? What are you going to plug it into? And by the time you get it through the water, will it be worth anything?

Someone in some news article concerning the looting said, "Disasters always bring out the worst in people." I beg to differ. Over the years, I have seen only the best sides of humanity emerge from some of the worst tragedies. Perhaps I'm naive...but I prefer to look at all those who have opened their homes, at those who have donated time, money, goods...rather than those criminal few who expect to make a quick buck. THOSE are the truly naive, because all they could want is being offered not only by huge organizations like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, but by individuals. I know of one man with a boat who was in Florida. He filled his boat with ice, medical supplies, food...and headed over to do what he can. And he's not alone.

Those are the true heroes...the men and women who stop what they are doing and pitch in to help. And those heroes vastly outnumber the looters who are stealing for the sake of stealing. It is important to remember that. Roughly five percent of the population gets ninety-five percent of the media coverage. There are far more humanitarian stories than there are looting ones, no matter what the press says.

Donate to the Red Cross...give blood if you can. Help out the Salvation Army in your area. I hear Loew's building supply is matching funds for those who donate through them, up to one million dollars. Money is what is needed right now. Please give what you can.

Thank you...and BE safe...


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