Reporting From the Eye of a Hurricane
It is an image I won’t soon forget.
Three brothers, riding side-by-side in a flat-bottom boat, skimming across the flooded streets of Houston, looking for survivors.
Three brothers from Louisiana!
It was a filler on the local news the other night. Three brothers, living normal lives, saw the images of suffering and felt compelled to help. They left their jobs, pooled their money, purchased a boat, and towed that boat from Louisiana to Houston for the sole purpose of helping those devastated by a monstrous storm.
Complete strangers helping complete strangers.
I don’t know those three brothers. I know practically nothing about them. I certainly don’t know if they are Democrats or Republicans. I don’t know how they feel about national politics, whether they like Trump, support The Wall, believe in large government or a shaved-down version. I have no clue how they feel about universal health care or immigration.
We were given none of that information during the short, thirty-second mention on the news.
I can, however, make an observation, one which I believe is very accurate.
While those brothers motored down the streets of Houston, I don’t believe, for one second, that any of those political issues mattered to them. I don’t believe, for one second, that they asked the people they helped if they were Liberal or Conservative. I don’t believe, for one second, if the color of skin played any part in their choosing who to help. I don’t believe, for one second, any of the ridiculous issues bantered about daily on social media were important to them as they rescued their fellow man.
They were just complete strangers helping complete strangers, doing for others what they would want done for them if roles were reversed.
For the love of all that is holy, can we please stop with the divisiveness? Can we please stop with the inflammatory remarks on Facebook and Twitter? Can we please stop the name-calling and the insane need to shout our opinions louder than those who would oppose us?
“I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together,” The Beatles
No, I am not deluded enough to think the golden words “all we need is love” will be enough to change age-old issues and social problems. I believe some people are simply hateful. Others are born twisted. But for the majority of us, good-intentioned, hard-working, reasonably-rational human beings, hopefully sooner, rather than later, the realization will arrive that this is a “we” problem, and only “we” can solve it.
Social cancer cannot be legislated out of existence. Man’s inhumanity towards man cannot be eradicated with a simple “yes” vote.
What is needed is a massive willingness to change, and to work together for that change.
Think About This for a Moment
I have an online friend. We’ll call him Bob for the sake of this discussion. Bob is about as far right on the political spectrum as one can get. Every one of his daily political rants demonizes the Left. According to Bob, the Liberals/Democrats/Socialists are the reason for every one of our societal ills. In other words, anyone to the left of his position is the enemy.
It is insanity!
But here’s what I find curious.
If Bob were trapped in rising flood waters, I would not hesitate to help him to safety, even though I am one of those Leftist bastards.
And even more curious, if I needed rescuing, I am absolutely certain Bob would be there for me if possible.
Can anyone explain this nonsense to me?
Now Look in the Mirror
. . . because if you are not a part of the solution then you are, by elimination of options, a part of the problem.
The insanity must end!
I never argue with Bob. There is no point in it. He is not going to change my mind on some issues, and I’m not going to change his mind. What I do is treat him with respect and let the political system work things out. What I do is try to make a difference on a local level, in my city, in my neighborhood, and in my family. I try to foster an environment of inclusion rather than exclusion, and I wish Bob well as he attempts to do the same thing where he lives.
My feelings toward President Trump, or big corporations, or any other political or social issue, make no difference whatsoever in the grand scheme of things. I will die in ten, fifteen, or twenty years, and the world will continue to spin on its axis quite nicely.
What will make a difference, however, and I believe this with every fiber of my being, is how I treat my fellow man on a very fundamental level.
I do believe in giving respect. I do believe in letting love guide my actions. I abhor rudeness, and I abhor cruelty, selfishness, and greed.
Put those things on my tombstone and I’ll die a happy and contented man.
Back to Houston
Three brothers in a boat.
Doing what they can.
All political bullshit stripped away.
Just three men helping their fellow men.
It brought me to tears.
2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)