New Orleans

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New Orleans

Postby basso on September 6th, 2005, 8:48 am

It seems incredible how we have become used to seeing pictures of devastation; floating bodies, flattened homes, debris everywhere. It registers mentally but, perhaps, not always viscerally. We are moved to say OMG, but beyond that, most of us will just get on with our day. What else can we do after all?

Before BFS I think I was a decent person, struggling to make ends meet, trying to be a good dad and husband. I was reasonably sympathetic to others, and endeavoured to be a good citizen, a good neighbour. There was a disconnect however, and despite my efforts toward the above ends, I was too cocooned emotionally. For many reasons, reasons I may never know I didn't have room in my life beyond that which revolved directly around me. I often even viewed my family as intruders into my space, wishing I could be left alone. This was not a conscious act, in fact until BFS, I didn't even realize I had done this.

Which brings me to New Orleans. Perhaps as many as 10,000 people have perished there in the worst natural disaster in US history. There has been much criticism about the US governments response to the disaster, and perhaps rightfully so. The task, it would seem, is more daunting than anyone first realized. When I watch the TV reports I am shocked by what I've seen, an entire city has, for all intents and purposes, been wiped off the map. Conditions are horrendous and downtown Baghdad might be preferable in comparison.

However, what really breaks my heart is how insensitive we have become as, so called civilized people, to the plight of others during so called "normal times." We have become comfortable that huge numbers of fellow human beings have become completely disenfranchised, and yet they live among us. I saw one report, about a man living in a suburb of New Orleans, who had never even SEEN his neighbour until his eight foot high fence blew down in the hurricane.

This example of an insular life is a reflection of an insular mind. I think, that what I have learned through BFS is that, it is this hiding in our own minds, this attempt at protecting ourselves from the vicissitudes of life that produces and then projects our fear and anxiety. Ironically, our attempt at "keeping" ourselves well only serves to engender illness: and thus the cycle begins.

Realistically, we can't be friends with everyone and there are many who would shun our help, our friendship. This doesn't, and shouldn't stop us though, from reaching out in the way that we conduct ourselves. If we carry ourselves with joy of spirit, if we feel the value of our lives, no matter how meagre, then we will transfer this affirmation to the wider world. This starts quite a different cycle, one that confers love and acceptance.

My heart and thoughts go out to all affected by the hurricane and I wish you very well, indeed.

Cheers,
Basso
Last edited by basso on September 6th, 2005, 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Schuey on September 6th, 2005, 10:59 am

Basso, I wish there were more people like you in the world.............
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