Sunday, September 12, 2010

Living By Example

"Sweep first before your own door, before you sweep the doorstep of your neighbors."

-Swedish Proverb

Last Thursday evening, September 9th, at a about 6:24 PM, a 30-inch natural gas pipeline ruptured under a quiet neighborhood in San Bruno, California, and resulted in an explosion which destroyed 37 homes, and damaged, to different degrees, 8 additional homes.The blast killed 7 people (at last count) and injured 53, some of them seriously. A mother and daughter died that night. A young college student watched his girlfriend die in the fire that consumed his home, and others had to literally run for their lives despite their injuries. During the evenings news coverage, there were stories of folks driving their burned neighbors to the hospital, and tending to those who couldn't save themselves on their own. The community at large came out in force to provide blankets, and clothing, and simple necessities for their now injured and displaced neighbors. As frightening and depressing as it was to watch the events unfold, there was also such a strong sense of community, and neighbor being there for neighbor, that one couldn't help but feel encouraged about the human race.

I don't think anyone stopped to ask "what's your religion" that night. There was no asking of political affiliation or race. It was neighbor, helping neighbor, in a time of devastation. I expect that when faced with a similar circumstance, most folks wouldn't stop to ask those questions, when responding to such a need, but if that's true in times like that, then why should those questions ever come up? Would you walk over your neighbors body and keep on going if... oh say... your neighbor was a Muslim? Or a Catholic? Or a Jew? Or Black? Or White? Or Oriental? Would you take a moment to ask political affiliation before saving a burn victim? Would you donate food or clothing or blood, only if you could be reassured that what you donated only went to a certain group of people? People you approve of? Of course not! As Americans we have been raised to be there for our neighbors, especially in times of need. We have been raised to treat all people the way we want to be treated. Right?

Okay, if that's true... so why are we allowing ourselves to be lead around by fear and ignorance? If we wouldn't stop to ask those all important questions of race or political affiliation or religious ideals, then why do we put so much of our energies into it when there isn't a disaster to bring us together? Do we always need a disaster to tap into tolerance and acceptance? America is at it's most divided since 9/11, yet it seems to me that in the days and weeks after that horrible day, we all pulled together pretty well. We were a country grieving, but now, thanks to a few people using 9/11 for personal gain, we are a country divided yet again. Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck threw quite a hootenanny yesterday in Anchorage, Alaska. As Sarah Palin put it on her Facebook page...

“ I can think of no better way to commemorate 9/11 than to gather with patriots who will ‘never forget. Tickets are available at'"

According to Politico, tickets were priced between $65.00 and $115.00 each.

I know Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are in it for the money, but did they really have to make money off 9/11?

Just asking.

If they really wanted to spend the day with "patriots" couldn't they have waived their speaking fee? Better yet, maybe they could have visited some of the first responders of 9/11 who are facing serious health conditions, and medical bills, because of the dust and smoke at Ground Zero?

A lot can be learned from tragedies such as what happened in San Bruno the other night, and 9/11. We were there for each other, in the days and weeks after we were struck by Al-Qaeda. We were thinking straight. We knew in our hearts who the real enemies were. Our enemy was Bin Laden and his band of extremists... not the religion of Islam.

Now where are we?

Allowing a few loudmouth republicans make us rethink our values as Americans.

Make NO mistake. Republicans are using fear and ignorance to scare us into submission for political and monetary gain. The midterm elections are only a couple months off. Pride is leading their every move, their every word.

It's sick. It's wrong. It's about as UN-AMERICAN as it gets!

Thank you people of San Bruno, for restoring my faith in humanity again. Humans who do the right thing. Humans who treat others the way they want to be treated. The folks who came out to help their neighbors in their time of need, showed no less then unconditional love, and isn't that the rarest thing to find?

Who's example would you rather follow?

Hey, just asking?


NOTE: The above photo is the smoke from the San Bruno fire, as seen from the East Bay hills.


jr cline said...

You are so right Carly. I upsets me too. I speak up and get are ridiculed for being a un-American.. Well if un-American means compassionate and willing to hold out a hand in peace and love, then I'm proud of it.

brandi said...

Please come see my own 9/11 comment on my cat blog.
I have been in a disaster in my own lifetime (a flood), and people from miles around helped. I don't know whose boat rescued us. We slept in beds provided by people we hardly knew, except by "here's a place for you to sleep". We all helped each other clean up after. I want to always live like this. I have spent the 40 some years after this experience doing just that.
Just like you, I'm asking why there aren't more people like us.
Carol, from Catitude

fdtate said...

Bravo, Carly.

I, for one, will be very glad to see this Know-Nothing strain of politics go away.

Thanks for keeping us informed about San Bruno on Twitter.

(I don't know who Bob is but my word for verification is "bobsomad.")

Dave said...

Well said, Carly! I am surrounded by conservative fear-mongering in Virginia, and see truth to your words in ways you can't imagine.

Karen Funk Blocher said...

Right on, Carly. Couldn't have said it better myself! This is the very essence of the Good Samaritan story, which certain people profess to0 believe while demonstrating the opposite attitude.

Vicki ~ FL said...

Ditto to all of the above comments and thanks for speaking up!

Brenda Kula said...

Amen sister! I finally found somebody who believes as I do! Hooray!