Watching the news coming out of Texas is enough to make a person swear off TV and Internet access for a long time. You don’t want to watch, because it’s like the worst train wreck meets the worst airplane disaster on top of the worst car wreck, and all of it happens under almost six feet of water. But you can’t turn away, and you know that this massive disaster isn’t a Texas problem – it can happen anywhere.
So much is unbelievable, unreal and unbearable. Yet so much is compassionate, caring and offers consolation, reminding us that in the worst of times, the best in society come forward with no thought of reward or recognition.
The thousands of volunteers with boats and high-water vehicles performing rescues, buying food and feeding others, checking on their neighbors. The schools, religious centers, libraries and stores opening to stormed-out refugees. The benefit concerts, collections, financial donations, and the dozens of animal rescue centers helping to find and shelter separated pets.
In a TV interview, one man helping a family into an air boat was asked by a TV reporter why he volunteered. He replied, “In the Republic of Texas, this is what we do. We depend on each other.” In any other setting, such an answer would have sounded jingoistic. Standing in waist-deep water in the driving rain, it sounded exactly right.
Not everyone has the money to write the big check, or the time off to travel as a volunteer. Do what you can. Donate to the Red Cross, give blood at the nearest blood center, bring storm supplies to a collection site. Don’t sit and stare at the screen and think this cannot happen to you. At some point, whether by fire, flood, tornado or other disaster, you may be next. And the second-to-none volunteer spirit seen in Texas this week will be there to help you.