My friend Scott wrote this on my FB page yesterday regarding Hurricane Irma... it's worth noting how tragedy brings out the best in people, uniting us, making us forget, if only for a moment, all of the petty BS, reminding us that when you truly, truly, truly need help, you don't give a damn if that help looks different, sounds different, or believes different. It actually brings out the dormant beauty within each of us.
At first I completely agreed with him. We saw it in Texas. We saw it during Katrina.
But as the day went on I had this nagging thought that we were wrong.
At first I just thought about the assholes who shot the prices up on everything from gas to water.
Sure, there were some smarmy people but, there always are. They were out shined by the altruists who showed up in droves to help complete strangers.
I was back to believing that Scott was 100% correct. Humanity always shined the brightest when things seemed their darkest.
What about the assholes who want to point at Houston when the city is on its knees and berate them for deregulation and climate change? Those assholes see a drowning man and lecture him about not putting on his life jacket instead of throwing him a fucking life saver.
Shit. I didn't have an answer.
Then I remembered reading that viral post explaining to my dumbass that the helpers were all good ol' boys with boats who love fishing, guns and, Trump. Oh, and obviously they were all veterans. All while liberals sat on the sideline and did fuck all.
Churches stayed closed while Mosques opened their doors.
So I got to thinking that maybe Scott was wrong and I was wrong for agreeing with him.
Scott, you naive fool. People suck. They've always sucked and they will always suck. They'll loot and steal from the wounded, they'll point and blame the inflicted for their pain, they'll politicize the fuck out of tragedy. The only reason the best of us seems to come out during a crisis is because it makes for a good story on the news when contrasted against the horrible tragedy.
Then it hit me. Scott's not naive, he's just seeing what we're being shown and, when contrasted against the devastation of natural disaster it looks far more heroic than maybe it actually is. That's not to say strangers taking their boats to Houston to help strangers isn't heroic, it is. That's just to say it looks more heroic than say, showing up at a homeless shelter on a Tuesday and volunteering.
The people who run to the fire are always going to seem grander when running into an inferno than a house fire.
I think we have people demonstrating the best in all of us every day and we just don't see it because the backdrop isn't dramatic enough.
I still think Scott's right, by the way.