Sunday, August 17, 2014

Blessings in Disguise

The recent encounter with Hurricane Iselle has left the East Side of Hawaii Island whirling.  Strong winds and heavy rains did much to batter the forests of this community.  Most hard hit were the families in the Puna District, especially those communities that were built under the canopy of the tall trees such as the fast growing Albizia.  Fallen trees cut travel, communication, and utility operations.  Some families are still without electricity.

Despite the heavy damage, there was no loss of life.  That alone is a miracle considering the falling trees, and fallen electrified poles.  What is equally amazing is how people have come together to help each other...neighbors, communities, businesses, nonprofit organizations.  People helping people.  I was much touched by a young adult who commented, "I don't have much money to share with others but I can make ice to share."  The Hawaii county administration and workers have been doing a phenomenal job.  The utility companies have been working around the clock to bring some sense of normality to people.  The response of the people without power has been equally gracious, people taking only what they needed.  Once their electricity was turned on, they offer others ice.

There have been instances of stupidity in the midst of the chaos:  The theft of the Red Cross truck, looting in the community, and the senseless vandalization of the Ali'i Ice Company during a time when ice was so needed by families.  But good has overcome evil in the formula.  The confounded moronic behavior of these criminals seems to be an anomaly when compared to the outpouring of love, concern, and assistance of thousands and thousands of people.

What becomes evident is that we were greatly inconvenienced by the storm.  Most of us can continue to go to work and to live.  We were without electricity.  We had to conserve our water.  We had to conserve our cellphone batteries to continue to have communication.  We got to sit at home during the evenings, watch the candle flicker, and talk to each other.  This was a very humbling circumstance.  We were back to the basics in life.

The thing to remember is that there are people who live like this in the world 365 days a year...water is a five mile journey from the house.  Food is gathered or hunted for the day.  We are so lucky to have conveniences of running water, electricity, telephone communication, and cars.  This experience has been an excellent reminder of how blessed we are.  That these adversities are blessings in disguise.  Let's learn from the experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment