Human Nature and Natural Disaster

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Hurricane Harvey killed at least 82 people in Texas.

Hurricane Irma killed at least 69 people throughout Caribbean, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

Hurricane Katia and the 8.1 earthquake that struck Mexico killed at least 90 people.

Hurricane Maria has killed at least 17, with 20 people missing.

The second earthquake to hit Mexico within two weeks was a 7.1 magnitude earthquake and killed over 200 people.

People are displaced; homes are ruined; belongings, family heirlooms, and treasures are lost; towns have been ravaged and economies are struggling.

 

America rallied strong after Hurricane Harvey. We took a break from the fighting – the endless bickering – and the things that are dividing us, and we united. We came together with one thing in mind: help the victims of Harvey any way we can. But then another storm hit. And then another. And yes, another one came after that. The news got tedious, redundant, repetitive; and we stopped caring – at least to the same extent – that lives were being lost and homes were being destroyed.

Then, as everyone today does, we disconnected from it. We turned off the television – or at least stopped listening to it – and we forgot to pray for them last night, and we didn’t give any more money. The hurt and the turmoil that is happening right now became old news in our minds. The news of the storms become less important than our fantasy football teams; our Starbucks became more important than donating; and the broken hearts of victims were overshadowed by funny animal videos.

 

And we do this all the time.

 

When the news is too sad, or too aggravating, or too stressful; when our lives are too sad, or too aggravating, or too stressful – when we decide we’ve “had enough,” we immediately look for a distraction. The advent of the smartphone and social media played perfectly into this unfortunate truth about human nature.

 

Now, with at least 458 dead, we cannot become numb or unfeeling to the tragedies, and we cannot become unresponsive to the calls for help. We must pray continuously, give what we can, follow the stories, and never turn our backs while there are still people suffering.

 

“America is great because she is good.” ~Alexis de Tocqueville

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