This morning I’m thinking about those people who lost everything in Texas, Florida, California, Oregon or Mexico, but the news cameras have moved on to some new disaster somewhere else in the world. For many of us who watched, it’s already forgotten. A couple days ago, we were riveted to our TVs. We could hardly carry on normal life because the round-the-clock coverage kept pulling at our emotions. We felt with the people; we heard their stories; we wondered what would happen to them. Everywhere we turned there were interviews, maps of the approaching hurricane, charts about earlier storms in history, and predictions about how bad this one was going be. And when the storm finally hit, there were news reporters only a few streets apart telling us what the storm looked like from their vantage point.
Public interest fades; the news machine moves on; yet for the people most affected by the disaster they wake up today to the same loss they experienced yesterday, and there’s no one there to report what Day Two feels like. Today may be harder to deal with than the storm, but who would know that? Everyone’s gone home except the people who don’t have a home to go to anymore. It may take months — in some cases years — to return to “normal” (whatever that is).
We need be sensitive enough to realize that for some people, this is going to be a long ordeal. It’s a little like experiencing the death of a loved one after the funeral is over and everyone’s gone home. Sometimes those are the hardest days of all.
This is a good time to practice standing in someone else’s shoes. Imagine what it’s like to wake up to whatever is on your back. And that’s it.
Don’t forget. Just because it didn’t happen to me doesn’t mean I can forget about it. And this is true for many things.