All of our hearts go out to the people in Texas dealing with the hurricane and the unprecedented tropical storm that has followed. Seeing the images on TV of the flooding, the rescues, and the people in shelters has had me thinking about what we all can learn from this.
Gratitude for what’s most important. In everyday life it’s easy to focus on getting ahead, material accumulation, and the minutia and worries of daily life. Sadly, sometimes it takes a huge event to wake us up and bring our attention back to what is most important in life. It can be an illness, death of a loved one, or like Hurricane Harvey, a natural disaster. In the TV interviews I notice over and over that people will mention the loss, fear, and grief they are feeling, but also their gratitude for getting out safely and for the responders and volunteers who have helped. Take a moment right now and think of three things you are most grateful for in your life. A focus on gratitude can move you from fear, sadness, and worry to allow you to be better able to actually help and support.
Prepare for the unexpected. Don’t miss the message that those of us left physically unscathed by this disaster can learn from the people affected. Do you have the proper homeowners and auto insurance in place? Do you have a box you can grab with important documents if you needed to leave your home quickly or do you have this information securely stored on line where you could easily access? Have you built up your solutions fund (aka emergency fund) in case your income stops for a while?
Help where you can. I find it so inspiring seeing ordinary citizens in their boats, kayaks, and Jet Ski’s rescuing people. The stories of neighbors helping neighbors are so heartwarming. Actually watching other’s kind acts can inspire and motivate more good deeds. I typically don’t watch a lot of news as it feels so bad – but this type of news is different. This is when humanity is at its best. If you aren’t helping directly with the flood victims in Texas, where can you lend a hand or do a kind deed?
Open your heart and your wallet. Don’t just feel badly about this disaster; listen to the pull you are feeling to help. Donate what you can. The need is expected to go on for a long time with so many people displaced from their homes. Here’s a link to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey disaster relief. It’s predicted that weather events such as this are on this rise. Consider helping organizations that work on the environment such as the Pachamama Alliance, where they stand with the indigenous peoples to protect their Amazonian home and the lungs of our planet in the sacred headwaters of the Amazon in Peru and Ecuador.
Sending love and light to all those affected by Harvey and the aftermath….