Friday, September 02, 2005

Baffled, Disgusted, Amazed and Saddened

It seems everybody and their mother are blogging about Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. Guess I'll join the bandwagon. (Nothing like terrible grammar and cliches to open a blog entry. What was that I said about being an impostor as a writer?) I have a few random thoughts about the whole situation.

*I can't help but be baffled by the arrogance of man. I don't mean to sound heartless, and I speak not of current New Orleans residents but of America collectively. Nothing like building a city below sea level and surrounded by three huge bodies of water...kind of reminds me of the "unsinkable" Titanic. What did we expect?

*I can't help but be disgusted at the depravity of man. Some looting is understandable--by that I mean, you've got these desperate people, and they need supplies: food, water, etc. One man I read about on CNN apparently felt embarrassed as he exited Rite Aid and defended his actions to the reporter, showing his surgery scar and explaining that he needed pads for incontinence. Does anyone fault him, or others who have taken bottles of water and snacks from convenience stores? Certainly not. But stealing appliances? Fat lot of good those are going to do you in a drowning city that won't have power for months. Do you think there will really be room in the helicopter, or on the buses that tens of thousands are clamoring to board, for your new TV set? And the depravity goes far beyond looting. Raping women, shooting at helicopters and military personnel who are trying to help...all I can do is shake my head in disbelief.

*I feel amazed and saddened by the suffering of man. Don't think I'm watching this whole disaster unfold with a critical, unfeeling heart. I feel compassion and grief for the victims of the hurricane and flooding. The devastation is too overwhelming for my brain to comprehend. I can't fathom what these people are going through--having loved ones ripped from their grasp, knowing that everything they had is now under(sewage-filled, toxic, disease-ridden)water, living in squalor surrounded by human waste and dead bodies, desperate for sustenance, wondering how you will ever recover or rebuild your life...I almost feel numb, not because I don't care, but because I can't wrap my understanding around such desperate conditions. Then I stop to ponder the idea that millions around the world live in these kinds of desperate conditions daily--for them, it's not the aftermath of a natural disaster, but rather the realities of everyday life. Again I shake my head in disbelief, unable to imagine.

As I continue to watch the Today show or for updates, I feel a sense of despair for the situation. Every time I check for updates, it seems things have further deteriorated and I wonder how anyone is ever going to get some semblance of control, let alone get the victims out of there and provide for their basic needs.

And what am I doing about it? What should I be doing about it?


Jackie said...

Isn't it so easy for us to shake our heads and say we feel sorry for these people .. but yet we do nothing .. some CAN'T do anything, and most of those who can, choose not to. We (as humans) are sometimes so self absorbed in our own happy world, that while the rest of the world falls apart around us we hardly notice. Sure we feel bad that it happened, but seldom does the feelings go any further.

As Christian's, I feel we have a responsiblity to do something for these people. And that responsibility is to pray. Most of us cannot just up and leave to go to the Gulf and help with rescue missions, or help take food and water, or go build houses, or put up power towers, etc ... but we CAN pray. What a might and awesome God we serve! He will bring the storm and He will be there through the aftermath of it as well!

As for the looters ... some people just do not think! ugh it's so sick to see people stealing electronics .. are you going to eat the tv? I think not! Stop complaining that you don't have any food and water when you are stealing tv's and toasters! I mean honestly!

Anonymous said...

Some guy here at work told me that New Orleans used to have miles of "breaks" between it and severe water weather..."breaks" being mostly marshes and wetlands. He said those have all but disappeared because of man's continuous conquering and developing of nature into paved roads, subdivisions, etc. So essentially, he said, "they were asking for it." Worse, many of them will rebuild what they lost in the storm in the same spot they lost it. Sure shoots my sympathy down the drain.