deep thoughts

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Hurricane katrina

i have avoided the news about hurricane katrina. i tell myself that i already know what is going on or that i don’t want to watch the media exploit this tragedy, and while those may be partly true the real reason is that it terrifies me. it is not that i am afraid of a hurricane or even of another natural disaster in my area. i am not entirely sure what i am afraid of, but perhaps it is the feelings i feel when seeing the images of the hurricanes destruction. i am afraid of the sorrow i feel when i hear about the looting that is spreading because there is little law enforcement. i am afraid of the disappointment i feel when the news tells me about violence happening amongst “refugees” who cannot band together and realize that there are more important things than themselves as individuals. i am afraid of the disgust i feel for those who use this tragedy to spread partisan hate on both sides.
that being said, i did turn on the radio yesterday and tuned in to NPR as they discussed the situation. it was talk of the nation and they were accepting calls from people in the vicinity who were still trapped or evacuated. the people they talked to were concerned people who were doing what they could. one family was in a hotel waiting for word that they could go see their house. another man was in his home waiting to be take his family and friends to a rendevous with authorities when, as he was on the phone, two suspicious men came towards the house. he explained that they looked dangerous, but left. the host asked if the man had a gun and he said he did. the host asked if he would shoot someone who tried to steal his boat. the man said he wouldn’t shoot someone who tried to take his boat, but he would defend his family.
what a profound statement. here is a man in a horrible situation who some might argue has every right to shoot first and ask questions later, but, for whatever reason, he still will not attack someone without a good reason. more importantly, he values a strangers life more than his property. perhaps i am just jaded but it seems that most people don’t feel this way even if they are not in a life threatening situation.
after the show was the news report and any hope in humanity i had immediately evaporated as they reported every horror they could. intellectually i understand that the world is both good and bad, but it is still hard to face. i would rather see news of steps being taken to overt catastrophe rather than the toll it is taking. obviously i am in the minority here. i suppose i want to make some statement about how we control the media and if we don’t like something we should turn it off or that we crave the depravity we see on the news, but it seems out of place. what i really want to say is that there is good and evil in all of humanity and that is represented in how we respond to daily life and how we react to tragedy.

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September 2, 2005 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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