It has been a little over a week since the Texas Gulf coast was hit by a real jerk named Harvey. First slamming onto land near Corpus Christi he then decided to hang out in Houston and its surrounding areas for a few days. Texans are a hospitable bunch but Harvey was not welcomed. Sleepless nights of watching your street turn into a river. Continuous news coverage of people in anguish after losing everything. Red Cross helicopters flying over your home on the way to carry out rescue missions. It has been a truly devastating situation. In any tragedy though lessons are learned. These are the things I learned while experiencing Hurricane Harvey.
Most people just want to do good.
The world can be an ugly place. It can be dangerous and cruel. But the majority of people just want to do good. This was shown so clearly in the Houston area over this past week. In some places, people even had to be turned away from volunteering due to lack of space. People brought boats to help rescue, food and monetary donations from around the country.
When the going gets tough material things aren’t the most important things.
This blurry photo above was taken by me in one of the hardest hit areas in the town of Dickinson. My friends and I helped to clean out the home of an elderly man who had to be airlifted out. The water line inside his home showed about 4 feet of water had entered. The entire neighborhood was strewn with personal belongings, discarded clothing, and waterlogged furniture. But do you know what else was there? People driving by offering each other food. Citizens going to homes of complete strangers to help clean up because they needed it. In the end, the material things and the four walls that make up the confines of your home isn’t what matters. It is the sense of community and people coming together to make each other stronger.
Some people take their blessing and help to change the world.
There once was a man who came from humble beginnings and ended up working very hard to own one of the largest furniture store companies in Houston. Known for his pitch “Gallery Furniture saves you money” Jim McIngvale did much more than saving people money during Harvey. Truth be told Mr. McIngvale, or Mattress Mack as locals know him, has been a long time supporter of local causes. However, during the flooding brought on by Harvey Mattress Mack has been a true blessing. Opening the doors to his stores to provide a dry place for up to 400 people to evacuate, feeding them and giving them a place to shower and sleep showed his true character. I know in the future when I buy furniture it will be from Gallery Furniture!
Despite what the media may want you to believe race and religion do not stand in the way of people caring for one another.
Watching the news on any given day would lead one to believe that people are unable to care about one another if they do not look or believe the exact same ways. Flags burning, statues coming down, protests…it all shows hatred in one direction or another. However, that is not what I see when I look at people that I know. Houston is one of the most culturally and religiously diverse cities in the nation. Looking at the news coverage that went world wide about my home state I couldn’t help but smile seeing how people were coming together to render aid. It didn’t matter their economic situation, whether they were natural born Americans, whether they were black, white or Asian it only mattered that they were human. And in the end that is all that ever should matter.
People should not be role models based on what they do, rather what they are.
One episode of TMZ is enough to show that being famous doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with being a good role model. Houston Texan JJ Watt defies the odds though and became a super hero rising above the devastation and raising over $18 million to date for the victims of this flood. In all honesty, I can not stand football, but this man is an extraordinary human being and all around good person.
If Texas were a monarchy Sandra Bullock should be our queen.
Like JJ Watt, Sandra Bullock is not a native Texan, but as they say, she got here as quick as she could. Developing a love affair with Austin years ago she has had a residence and businesses in Texas off and on for years. She immediately came out and donated money for aid to the community. Her official statement was:“There are no politics in eight feet of water. There are human beings in eight feet of water. I’m just grateful I can do it. We have to take care of one another.” Sandra Bullock, you will always be Miss Congeniality to me and I officially back you to be the Queen of Texas.
Kevin Hart also spoke out to give help right from the start as well. He was awesome in supporting our community and much love for that! I am sure we can all agree though that Sandra pulls off the crown a bit better! You, Mr. Hart, can have a Superman cape!
Sometimes it is better just to let things go.
Let me preface this by saying I have nothing at all against Joel Osteen. I have never visited his church but I do like his positive attitude. Yet I have learned this past week that sometimes it is better just to let things go. For those who may not know Mr. Osteen’s church took some time, quite a bit of time, to welcome evacuees into its’ doors. Was the church flooded? Did he just not want people there? Who knows if his heart was in the right place or not, but his mouth did him wrong. The media blitz that Joel Osteen went on to try to make things better really didn’t do well for his image in my opinion. The questions were asked by multiple media organizations. Each time he seemed to contradict himself and it just wasn’t good.
And sometimes when the going gets tough you have to take it with a grain of salt. The above video was sent to me by a friend and I found the use of “Jolene” by the one and only Dolly, of course, to be very witty.
If you are reading this from the Houston area I hope you are fortunate to have no damage. If you are reading from elsewhere and want to help may I suggest the Houston Food Bank? They are a fantastic organization that I volunteer at from time to time. For more information check them out here!