Hang On Down There

I am glued to the television, watching Hurricane Isaac pound two of our southern sister states.  They are really taking a beating as this slow-moving behemoth of  a category 1 storm dumps water in incredible amounts while whipping winds tear at anything loose.  It is hard to fathom how strong nature can be unless you are there, and it’s hard to imagine living through it.  My thoughts are with those that are doing just that.

The news reporters for some reason think it’s a good idea to stand in the middle of it all, unprotected except for their news station rain gear. Really? Does the job pay enough to risk your life for a bit of showmanship or in order to one-up the competition?  I have been watching these women and men blowing around on the street, drenched and yelling into microphones to be heard above the roar of the storm.  I don’t know about you, but I would be just as satisfied with a report from behind a safe wall or window.  I don’t need  the kind of thrill that comes with watching someone else do a death-defying act unless I’m at a circus; so don’t do it on my behalf.

I also don’t get the people who stand on the coast watching the hurricane come in.  Is it for bragging rights?  I am not sure that stupidity and irresponsible risk are good for bragging.  Is it for some personal thrill? Well, good on ya; just don’t call the emergency workers to risk their brave behinds to save your ignorant one.  The same goes for people that don’t clear out during a mandatory evacuation.  The man on the cell phone with the news station this morning  who is in his attic with his wife and baby because there are twelve feet of water inside his house, and he refused to follow orders to leave,  and he had to shoot a hole through his roof with his rifle so they can breathe…How in the world do you put your child at such risk?  If he was determined to stay, although I am not sure why he would be, at least send your wife and child to high ground.  Oy.

It is a natural event like this that reminds me how small I am, how tiny a part of the big picture, how puny and helpless.  Yes, we are on top of the food chain, but there are forces way, way bigger than the food chain.  The same forces that ended the reign of dinosaurs and large mammals right here in the good old USA; the power that created the Grand Canyon and caused ice ages; the dynamic strength that continues to move continents; all put things in perspective.  I live my life to the fullest each day knowing that it is a precious commodity that should never be taken for granted.  I strive to be a productive, empathetic, content human being, because pretty much every day somewhere out there, others are not so fortunate.  To the people “down there” that are living through this epic storm today:  Best wishes and hopes from me to you.

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