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A New and Changed Perspective

Randy DeVaul

Posted on November 10, 2018 09:57

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A person's view of life changes after a disaster event -- for both the person experiencing the event and those who come alongside to help. If we could only stay focused on what is important and stop all of the petty whining and ignorant behavior, we would change the world!

While America was engrossed in political battles the week before elections, tensions were high, people from all sides were glued to the media, tricksters were at play, and rhetoric continued with child-like name-calling, personal and physical attacks on people’s character and person by politicians and citizens, and everyone trying to convince everyone else how right (and petty) they are and how wrong the others are. Regardless of who would win, the rhetoric from both sides was that we were all going to die.

This has become the norm in America. It is stupid, at best, infantile in nature, and shows how ignorant we are willing to remain, regardless of facts or truth.

During that last week, and only that week, I had the privilege to invest my week with some amazing people in the worst-hit hurricane areas of the Panhandle. Relief workers and residents of Bay and Gulf Counties were working to restore “normalcy” to the area and to their lives.

Throughout the week, there were no discussions about politics. There were hundreds (if not thousands) of people helping others through physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual battles. I experienced relief workers and residents - all total strangers when it began - coming side by side, regardless of political, ethnic, or religious affiliations, in a united cause and effort.

Photographs do not convey the devastation to the homes and lives of those who live there. While hoping to encourage others and in my limited way as just one person to help make a difference, I saw amazing work being performed by amazing people teamed together with a common purpose, to restore lives and communities. This common purpose kept people focused on each other; people who I never met and will most likely not see again, working side by side and doing the impossible that each person alone could not have accomplished on his or her own.

I was there for 8 days, and I left others who were staying longer while yet another wave of volunteers was coming to replace me and others who could not stay longer. I came home with a renewed perspective. When standing in a street and seeing nothing but debris where homes stood just a month before, seeing other homes in which no one was sure if they would ultimately be condemned, and still others where homeowners and relief workers side by side did all they could to salvage and rebuild, suddenly all of the petty whining and hearing people’s opinions on matters they know nothing about all seemed irrelevant. The things of this world just didn’t matter, anymore.

I applaud the residents and the workers focused on what matters -- people’s lives. “Stuff” is nice but don’t build your life on it. When it’s gone and what remains is family, friends, and strangers who are just there to help, the perspective is all about relationships.

Get over the infantile behavior. One day, we will be in a position where we actually need each other.

Randy DeVaul

Posted on November 10, 2018 09:57

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H umanity could clearly use some positive impact, in the wake of the destruction wrought by not only Hurricanes...

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