Hurricane Harvey-Life Can be Short

Disclaimer: It is not my intention to diminish nor distract from the severity of the natural atrocity currently inflicting our country. I am merely searching for insight.

Hurricane Harvey is one of the worst natural disasters I’ve heard of in my adult life. I vaguely remember the events of Katrina, but I was young and ignorant to how severe the damage was. I was (and still am) fortunate enough to live in the mid-west where I don’t have to witness the devastation first-hand. It is described to me in the news and accompanied by pictures, but it is difficult to watch as these events unfold because I can’t imagine the suffering being experienced by the survivors.

Punishing rains, floods covering homes, and winds strong enough to topple a car demonstrate the ferocity of Mother Nature’s wrath. Not to mention chemical plant explosions and the countless lives permanently damaged by the devastation and the amount of time and work it’ll take to restore them to a resemblance of normalcy. Even then, I doubt the victims will be able to return to the day-to-day they were accustomed to. Forever will they interpret thunderous storms as God’s anger and will fear for the well-being of their families until they themselves are finally laid to rest–it will not be an easy road to walk.

Recently, I celebrated the life and mourned the death of my brother who passed many years ago. Life never fails to be put into perspective around the anniversary of his death.

A close friend of mine (the person has asked to remain anonymous) suffered a heart attack yesterday, and that too has kept my perspective in check.

Marry those two perspective-altering instances with what is going on in Texas and Louisiana, and it’s hard to ignore the truth about human existence: our lives can end at any moment, by any means.

It’s been interesting and encouraging to see the response from those in the media, to my friends on social sites, and those who are fighting through the suffering in the south. There has been limited talk about war, race, religion, politics, etc. The focus has been on the victims and I hate to say this, but it is somewhat refreshing. If you look at the pictures, all people, of all races and nationalities are helping one another. It’s awesome that we are able to set aside our differences when it matters most.

I can’t help but take a step back and ask why does it take such loss for us to come together?

Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Why are we only reminded of the fragility of life when something significant happens like a heart attack, remembering the gruesome effects of child cancer, or when elements beyond our control attack us at our homes? It seems that we forget so easily and it is disturbing. One could assume, that if we kept perspective on how volatile and delicate life is, we’d have far fewer conflicts between us.

What saddens me is that this will inevitably turn into a political and social issue (aside from providing relief) at some point–whether it be about funds to pay for help or another argument about climate change, the rhetoric will return to the topics we discuss most in our society. Within a few weeks, or maybe months if you’re feeling generous, the events that have occurred will slowly be phased out of mainstream media and social pages and the focus will be re-centered around something else. That is truly disappointing because the trend is to forget the perspective we’ve been given and proceed with our lives as if nothing happened.

I hope we can break that cycle. But as I’ve read, another hurricane is forming southeast of Florida…I hope to see a rainbow at the end of all this.

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