Monday, October 29, 2012


After a gloomy day yesterday, made worse by the Eagles horrible showing against the Falcons, today is day one of Frankenstorm.  Surprisingly, no work for me today as all the wine and spririt stores in this area are closed.  I can tell you, this will not pass without many negative comments from those already against the state's control of alcohol.  The good news is that our sales for the weekend were much higher than normal so perhaps everyone thought ahead and purchased their favorite comfort drinks early.  The bad news is that those people who must buy alcohol everyday, and unfortunately there are many, will be disappointed when they slosh up to the door today (and probably tomorrow) and find it locked.


We have a history of getting water in our unfinished basement despite the presence of a sump pump at either end.  A few years ago we made the investment in one of those "dry basement" companies, and have had virtually no problems, but two days straight of wind and rain may make this the exception that proves the rule.  Still, compared to the dozens of people that have perished in other countries, the fatalities that will occur in America, the loss of home, the loss of treasured possessions, and the probable loss of power that will occur to thousands of people, I will be happy to only have a bit of seeping water.

The good news, also, is that with our advanced weather technology, we have warning before a storm of this magnitude arrives.  Imagine even a few hundred years ago, let alone a few thousand, when we were at the mercy of such natural disasters without the benefit of time to prepare.  This same storm with its exact wind speed and rain content, would have been far more disastrous to those living in the time of our founding fathers.  Even today, in 2012, there are people born in places and situations where the weather is what you see when you walk out your door.  Again perspective.

The wonderful part of tragic events of this type, is that when trouble strikes, we all pull together to help each other.  More than once has it been said that you measure the greatness of a people by how they face adversity.  There will be tens of thousands without power, perhaps hundreds without homes, and sadly, dozens who will have lost a loved one.  Yet all those victims will find solace in their families and their neighbors, and will find support from those untouched by this storm, good hearted people in other areas of America doing their part to help those in need.

If only we could extend that sense of help without reward into other issues of the day.  Is it because we don't see the emergency of our present times?  Or are we paralyzed by the complexity of our problems?

When a hurricane hits, we know which items we need to provide for its victims.  But what do we do when our middle class is struggling to live from one paycheck to another?  When the poorest of our fellow citizens do not have access to a quality education, health care services, healthy food, or the means to obtain those basic requirements? 

There is no one to blame (despite the occasional use by certain "religious" people to blame disasters on "bad" Americans) for a hurricane.  Most of us consider it an external threat, something beyond our control, so we rally together to counter its damage.  Yet as we approach election 2012, all we hear is how one side, be it liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, is at fault for our problems so, of course, all we need to do is vote for the other side and everything will be OK.

Perhaps someday, hopefully soon, we will grow up.  Just like providing water, shelter, clothing, etc for the vicitms of the storm that is upon us will occur despite any differences we might have, so too, solving our national problems, whether they be financial or social, will require us to put aside perspectives that focus on our differences, and embrace perspectives that embrace commonality.     


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