The thunder rolls and the rain is pounding the roof as I write this. The day has been filled with bands of thunderstorms separated by spans of partially-sunny humidity. It reminds me of the hurricane that crippled many parts of this region not too long ago. The flood waters have receded and the damage assessed. Many people have returned to their regular schedules. The world, for the most part, has returned to normal, except for the people left homeless or lifeless. Those stories are no longer newsworthy and so they are passed over. If it's not on my TV does it truly exist?
I wonder about the folks I helped out during the storm and its aftermath. Without power, several homes quickly filled with water, food in refrigerators spoiled, and lines of communication disabled. My generator was already outside prepped for the worst, the bathtub filled, and the proper food storage strategies employed. Some family members in the house laughed at my "over-preparedness" as they reluctantly helped move the generator into position. They giggled as I made sure the gas cans were heavy and the shed filled with emergency roof repair materials. And then they smiled as they loaded the generator into a pick-up and scurried over to rescue a friend in need. My preparedness was their preparedness and they were off with chest puffed proudly, the "hero" of the day.
This experience has confirmed many of my suspicions. The foremost being that we have evolved into a weak and whiny society of crybabies looking for shoulders to carry us over the waters of trouble. Men have transformed calloused hands into lotion-covered mittens unable to fend for themselves, never mind provide for a family. Women look to outside the home to feed the family and raise the children. The government will provide for everything, hand-outs, money, food, shelter. If my home is destroyed someone else will rebuild it. If the power goes out I will sit helpless until someone else turns it on. If the food spoils I will go hungry until someone hands me more. If my country is threatened I will pray for the other people that defend me. If my freedoms are taken I will still wander like a sheep in the pasture.
Each home we visited swore to make preparations in the future and to invest in some sort of preparedness and emergency strategy. And, as the thunder rolls and I watch the clouds unfold, I wonder if it was merely talk or a true wake-up call. As the rain slowly peters out, I must dress for work. These thoughts will be revisited, as surely as the waters will yet again rise but for now the story is not newsworthy and will shortly be forgotten.