Please Don’t Loot in Houston
Hurricane Harvey has left catastrophic devastation in its wake. Thousands of people displaced, homes flooded, and roadways impassable. I fight back tears each time I view the coverage of what has happened to my fellow Texans. We live a few hours from Houston, and our home experienced mild flooding from the storm. But, our water issues are resolved, and our clean up will be easy compared to the destruction that residents of the Houston area will face for weeks and months to come.
Yet out of this weather tragedy has come one shining light, in my opinion. Goodness has come back into the news. The seemingly non-stop coverage of rioting, political bickering, and hate has been replaced with stories of courage and gratitude. The media is full of compassion, service, and donations of time and resources. As heartbreaking as the stories are, I can’t help but feel a sense of hope for humanity as I read about the people waiting in line at grocery stores to buy food for other storm victims, even when they have been affected. The rescue effort has been buoyed by neighbors diligently searching their neighborhoods for anyone in need of rescue. Messages across Twitter and Facebook have allowed complete strangers to rescue loved ones, deliver baby formula, and send diapers to people across the city. Anyone with a boat or high-clearance vehicle has willingly joined into the rescue effort. Texans are a special people (if I may say so, as a Texan) and entire legions of neighbors are helping in any way possible. I am also grateful to hear about the rescue workers from other states, like Louisiana’s Cajun Navy and NYPD helpers on their way. Thank you!
Yes, Houston in hunkered down in the toils of this nation’s largest natural calamity – but hearts are open with generosity and concern for all. No matter the religion, the nationality, the language, the socio-eceonomic status, people are helping. People are loving. People are saving each other! And the “flood” of positivity that has resulted has been a welcome respite from the storm of negativity and hate on the news.
“Moments like these are incredibly precious and remind me of all the good in the world,” wrote one Houston resident.
As a nation, I believe our hearts are softening. Our hearts are softening with compassion towards our fellow man. What a blessing to come out of a devastating storm. I have felt the outpouring of service towards my family, with our little flooded crawlspace (that is pumped out and dry again). And I see the willingness of people to reach out do something for those in Houston. My family will be in Houston when the call comes for help. We’ll send food and supplies. My husband will help rip out flooded carpet and Sheetrock from homes. He’ll be there. We’ll be there. Hundreds of people we know will be there. And so will thousands of others – because our hearts have softened towards each other. The rebuilding effort will take months or years, but help will be there.
I hope and pray, that as a nation, we keep that compassion alive.
So, to those of you who seek to loot in Houston – shame on you. We need these feelings of love to grow. As a nation we need it! We need to help each other and repair the wounds of divisiveness that negative media coverage has fanned over the years. Good stories rarely make into the news – we need them! We need to keep showing the media that Americans can and will love our fellow men. The love will continue to grow if the good deeds happening all around Houston continue to shine in the spotlight.
So, you would-be looters – stop it. Stop taking advantage of your victim neighbors. Stop shooting at businesses and ransacking abandoned homes. I don’t want to see you on the news. We don’t need more negativity in our media. Looting is barbaric and selfish. Selfishness is the opposite of compassion – and it is compassion that we need on TV right now. I need to the see the ability of human goodness to shine. I want my kids to see it. We need that light to shine on our nation.
So please, I beg you, don’t loot. Don’t pop this bubble of service and kindness happening right now. Don’t force the media coverage to showcase the selfishness of society. Do not loot. Go serve someone instead; find your service inspiration here.