By: Don Lindsey.
Let me open this column by saying that I hope everyone made it through Hurricane Irma safe and as intact as possible. We saw death and destruction not only in our community but through much of our state, and so my prayers will continue to be with everyone affected by Irma’s wrath as the rebuilding and healing processes begin.
Since I’ve started to write these articles, I find that I mention the importance of the human race working together instead of pulling away from each other quite a lot. The reason I do that is that I honestly feel that we could do so much more to make this world better if we would just listen to one another and work to be of service to those we see in need. Now, this isn’t just some lofty idea I have for world peace, it’s an opinion I’ve formed from watching situations unfold around me. There are many examples that I feel bring validity to my theory and the way this town and area have come together during such a horrible time is the most recent example.
Like most of us over the last few days, I’ve seen neighbors rally around to help with cleaning up debris, running extension cords from generators at their houses to the homes of those around them to at least provide some of the power lost (thank you, Rick and Darlyne). I’ve also ventured out into the community when I’ve been well enough to help where I could and was overwhelmed by the gratitude I was shown just by doing what everyone else was doing. People were not concerned about differences in philosophy or affiliations but instead were focused on helping their fellow brothers and sisters when they needed it the most.
Take a second to think about that. Did you care about the political beliefs, religious backgrounds, or lifestyle choices of anyone you may have helped out? Did you care that the person you were helping was gay, straight, black, white, Hispanic, or different from you in any way? Conversely, did you care about any of those things when someone was helping you? If the answer to those questions was no, then the reason is simple…
You didn’t care because none of those things matter.
What does matter is that we were drawn to helping those around us because human beings were designed with this little thing called compassion.
I would guess that all of us get caught up in our belief system and our desire to make our lives as comfortable as possible and I’m not saying that is a bad thing completely. Of course, we want to succeed in our lives in order to provide for ourselves and families but that doesn’t mean that we have to be completely oblivious to the world around us. I speak from experience. I was getting to a very self-absorbed place after finding out I had cancer again. I couldn’t see past myself, but this hurricane reminded me of just how much I care about the people around me. It reminded me how thankful I am to be alive and it also reminded me why I love this community and am so happy that I live in it.
What I’ve witnessed in this last week is that when people lean into each other, we’re able to overcome any hardship that we may face. Hurricane Irma was a beast, she destroyed so much but she was also a case in point to what I’ve been saying in these columns. Alone we are weak, together we are superhuman. God bless.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.