“Sandy” Gives Us a Fresh Look
You can’t turn on your TV or computer without being impacted by the stunning images of catastrophic damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy earlier this week.
There are a few important things to look at in the aftermath of such a tragedy. With a big election next week, maybe it’s the right time to reconsider the kind of country we want to live in.
Government: doesn’t it make you feel a little better to see those images of President Obama together with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie? That’s what government is supposed to do – work together to create solutions no matter what party, red or blue. Consider that as you go to the voting booth next week. (I already voted earlier this week.)
The “I won’t talk with you, I won’t deal with you” attitude toward governance the last few years has resulted in more problems and a sluggish response to the challenges we face as a nation. I’m tired of the vitriole and the bickering, aren’t you?
When we work together – even if we have strong differences of opinion - good things happen, Obama and Christie have taken the lead here. I give both credit for putting aside their differences and working together to help the thousands impacted by Sandy.
A few years ago crossing the aisle was considered the preferred norm, not a reason to get your shorts in a twist. You don’t get a doggone thing done if you don’t find workable ways to get along with others.
I blame marketing. Yep, it’s what I’ve been doing my entire career. But I lay the responsibility for a lot of our sniggering small-mindedness on marketing. If we couldn’t tell the difference between one candidate or another and where they stood on issues in the past – we sure can now. Politicians have made certain of it by distancing themselves from each other so much we look ridiculous.
The “have it my way” culture that sprung up in the 1980s and the “me generation” has led to the expectation that’s how it should be all the time, every minute with everything. That everyone should get things exactly as they want them and no one’s feelings should ever be hurt along the way. A little unrealistic, don’t you think?
Infrastructure: Let’s start getting honest here. If you haven’t travelled around the world there’s probably a chance you feel America has the most advanced systems in the world. Not even close. We’re seriously behind the eight-ball when it comes to mass transit, bridges, education, energy development of renewables, delivery of medical care and much more. As a matter of fact we’re currently rated 20 in the world. Not even in the top ten. We’re at 20. Sheesh!
New York subway officials have said this is the worst damage to the system in its 108 year history. They’ll get it patched back up and running again with duct tape and chewing gum. Thank goodness for our weather satellites that provided enough lead time to get all the trains and all the machines moved to safe places, saving billions of dollars in further damages.
The people of New York, New Jersey and other states are still waiting to get back their subways and power back. Mayor Bloomberg has issued a rule you must have three people in a car to get into NY City. Right now just walking down the street without slogging through a few feet of water, debri, sewage, petroleum and more is a challenge. Anyone who knows me knows I love walking, and, walking in New York City has always been an empowering experience in such a vibrant, exciting city. Well, especially if I can sneak in a little shopping – but I digress.
Global warming: whether it’s due to man-made activities or not we have to deal with the fact killer storms and hurricanes happen more often. Let’s stop politicizing what’s obviously happening, kicking the can down the road. Can you believe some turkeys see weather as a Democratic or Republican issue? Weather? Really?
These once-every-century storms and floods now happen about once every two years. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. Scientists, the most apolitical people on the planet, say that our artic ice is melting more and more every year. The result is crazy weather systems like mega hurricanes, flooding and massive snowfalls in winter.
Is it due to our “carbon footprint” or something else? I don’t know. Who cares? Do we really want to keep acting shocked when these events happen,, plunking our heads in the sand? Really?
Our natural tendency is to reach out and help someone who is in worse shape than we are. We selflessly give what we can when our fellow man or woman is hurting, and, we sure as heck don’t ask if they’re Republican or Democrat first.
In a tragedy we see people coming together in ways that show we understand the Golden Rule. Living with meaning and purpose for most of us means finding ways to help others whenever we can.
Here’s something funny in an ironic way:
People in the affected areas without power are running around trying to find power to recharge their cell phones, iPads, laptops, etc. Wouldn’t it be funny in a good way if as a result of this tragedy people actually look at each other and say “hi” rather than endlessly staring at the screen on their phone?
When I ask people what’s most important they almost always reply “helping others” and “making a difference.” Its a more powerful core value than anything else. If so, why do some folks get in a snit when two people with a difference of opinion AND the power to make a difference actually get along? Why do we cross our arms refusing to acknowledge what’s clearly happening and act like we can stuff the toothpaste back in the tube? Why do we posture and act like arch enemies when people clearly care and want the best for each other?