Houston hasn’t a problem. At least for now we don’t.
To some extent, we’ve temporarily stripped ourselves of political scuffles, race and gender biases, and economic castes. The wealthiest and the poorest arrived by boat and helicopter and ate the same oatmeal, slept on the same quickly constructed cots in the convention center, et al. The difference now, days after our Hurricane Harvey, is that those who started without much have no where to go, while the rest are beginning to rebuild their lives.
In the thick of of the storm, heroes were born and then sprung into action. Daredevils were living their dreams, taking greater risks than they should and loving it. In the days that followed, people who had never worn a pair of work gloves, donned face masks and began pulling down drywall, insulation and demolishing cabinets. Bands of teenagers and adults went home to home to help anyone who needed it; others went home to home passing out food and water. As my friend, extreme volunteer and Facilitator of the Houston Minimalist Chapter put it “You could tell who was gathering supplies or donations if they were buying 10 brooms.” While many of us have returned to work and volunteer only on our off time, she is picking up the slack. With any extreme event, there is an outpouring of support in the hell and high water of the moment and then people move on; the hard work and dire need do not stop there.
Any Guru worth her siddhis will tell you “Don’t think you can put one over on Mother (Nature). She will show you when she’s tired of your arrogance.” The way we danced around in funny glasses to watch the eclipse less than two weeks ago, remember? That thing nature fixed to scar your vision, a hint maybe? If Medusa asked you to turn around to see her newest hairdo…..? Okay, now you are wondering about me (you should). We modern asshats know everything, just like teenagers! Earliest humans had respect and fear of such events. Perhaps our new Director of FEMA should scout for hurl-able virgins.
Now: I am hard on myself and I can be very tough on others; you know who you are, so watch it! Therefore, being less judgmental is the bane of my existence. I work to achieve, practice and to become, Grace. I believe wholeheartedly that this can make our life experience so much more wonderful. I am nowhere near there but visit from time to time.
As such, I can state the following things that are biting me about the Harvey Experience.
- Persons who try to sell their not damaged/flooded off casts – because they could donate the items.
- Persons who complain that their recycling service is disrupted – because the less vocal neighborhoods cannot get their hazardous debris removed.
- Persons complaining about traffic, which is horrendous – because these folks are simply trying to get to work (or ?) and the roads they normally traverse are under water.
- Lastly, persons who parrot negative reviews of the Red Cross – because they are repeating, re-posting dubious information and are not acquainted with the facts.
Quit complaining on social media and actually Be the Change!
Within this time of material loss is an opportunity to discover what is meaningful. My daughter (another tireless volunteer) asked if I need help at home during the storm. The water was all around, my roof leaking, but I was really good, comparatively. I replied that the heartbeats (she and her bro) were safe and the only thing I needed to evacuate besides me, was the purple folder (PF). Incidentally, if I lost the PF, no one would die and the world would not end. The PF has the paper things: family birth certificates, passports, property records, et al.
I know wonderful people that have kayaked back into their Atlantian homes to retrieve important stuff, putting themselves and first responders in perilous situations. I have also been excited to hear others talk of streamlining their lifestyles. Embracing a less is more existence.
We are baited to be more and get more (our culture, media). We are imprisoned by the culture of get more – do more and lose our moment to moment connections with one another, with what has meaning.
I don’t care how you get here…..my wish is that we will define and get to what is important. Working together, despite our differences, to the things we can agree on and tabling the rest. Get here if you can.