Diversity & Goodwill

I watch the tropical storm footage on TV the words that come to mind are diversity and goodwill. So many people from so many walks of life affected. And then there are always those whose hearts are filled to the brim with goodwill.

Oiling Chopping Boards:

I just finished oiling up my butcher block/chopping boards. I’d ordered the food grade mineral oil from Amazon.com some time ago, but hadn’t gotten around to applying it yet.

I hate oily things on my hands!

If you do this, make sure you order food grade mineral oil.

I have oiled one side. I’ll let them sit for awhile and then do the other side. I should have done this a long time ago. 

The Tropical Storm:

I watch the tropical storm footage on TV between daily tasks. The many stories are so sad. How awful that all those people went to a shelter, it flooded, and they were moved again.

I imagine they will be shuttled around like livestock for some time while they get this figured out. Just putting one foot in front of the other and getting by.

And then there’s the young mother who was trying to save her child. Saved the child, but she perished. Boy, so many stories and so much tragedy. 

As I watch strangers linking hands to create a long arm from land to water to rescue people in cars, I sometimes tear up from the many displays of people helping other people. 

We are all different in color and ethnicity and politics. But when something like this happens, all our differences seems to go to the wayside, thank goodness. 

And we come together as people in the midst of tragedy to help one another in whatever way we can.

So Tragic:

All these people, worn out and wondering when they’ll step foot inside something they can call home again. They are showing so much courage in the face of adversity. 

Some haven’t had water or food for some time. Some with pennies in their pockets. Or nothing in their pockets at all.

People that choose to stay in their homes, hoping beyond hope that they will make it through. I can’t blame them for not wanting to leave their homes. But they are risking so much. Their very lives.

Many just need a hug or an encouraging word. They are traumatized and slogging through water and worn thin. 

Never knowing when they might step off into a treacherous hole and be swept under. Water, so much water!

Testimony To Courage:

My, this is a testimony to courage.

I hope that it lights a fire under all the hate in this country that has reared its ugly head in the past months, and proves to everyone that we are much stronger together than apart.

If you saw video of that human chain of individuals that joined hands and rescued the elderly man from the SUV, then you know that we can do so much when we join together as one. 

We are all just human:

Our commonality is that we are all human. And I do think humans are intrinsically good at heart.

I’m tired of what is tearing this country apart. I’m so tired of hearing hateful rhetoric that does no one any good.

We are Americans. Our country was founded on diversity and courage and goodwill. Everyone just needs to get along.

Please, let’s just all get along.


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  1. Brenda, what a beautiful post. Well said. The only thing I'd add is that when people refuse to leave their homes, they jeopardize not only their own lives, but the lives of their pets and the first responders who have to go out to rescue them. As someone in law enforcement, it hurts my heart to see my brothers and sisters risk their lives over poor choices. God bless all those affected by this terrible situation.

  2. Extremely proud of my State and neighbors who are supporting each other even at risk to their own lives. Drove in to Houston today to take grocery items our kiddos don't yet have available in their local Houston stores (hubby and I are only an hour away). Heartbreaking to see so many families with all of their belongings placed at the curb awaiting trash pickup … Sadly, those are the fortunate ones … others' homes are still completely under water. Can you believe that over 93,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed in 50 counties? So hard to imagine.

    But, in spite of the horrendous devastation, the city is beginning to rebuild even now. You can feel it and see it in the faces of everyone you meet.

    I don't by any means want to diminish the sense of community spirit and brotherly love that is so prevalent here in Texas, but I'm convinced that acts of bravery and selflessness are happening every day in every State. They're just not played out on TV and social media, unfortunately.

    If only we could find a way to convince news providers to focus on the good and not the bad, the positive and not the negative. Because I'm honestly convinced it's out there and that the hatred and violence are the exception!!! Thanks again for your continued prayers!

  3. We are all "human" but there are so many variations of human. Therein lies the problem. If only we could impress on those who don't see it that working together with other humans no matter their faiths, colors or nationalities will preserve us all as well as our earth. The negative attitudes are so deep-seated and so much a characteristic of those who formed our country in the first place that they don't die easily.

    You know, the story of the origins of this "great country" is not the one we celebrate on Thanksgiving. "Our" country was formed by men- no women signers of the Constitution–some of whom were brilliant and well-intentioned in some ways, but our country as we know it would never have come into existence separate from the fact that our fore-fathers perpetrated genocide upon the Native Americans. This is the true history of our country and the folks who had no intentions of "working together" to build a better country or world. So, we come by all this hostility and prejudice and feelings of superiority pretty honestly. We've inherited it. Some of us have definitely risen above those attitudes–in fact a whole lot of us have. But we shouldn't be surprised at the many who have not.

    I am certainly heartened by the willingness to help our brothers and sisters in the event of an emergency like the hurricane and flooding in Texas. That is a sign that many of us are growing to understand that working together without prejudice is the only way to change our world into one where everyone of every faith, color and nationality is respected and assisted to live a decent life. I just wish it didn't take a catastrophe to bring about that cooperation on a wider than normal scale.

    Lest I sound like a nay-sayer or curmudgeon I will add that I don't usually focus much of my attention on the negative in whatever arena because I feel that keeps me from seeing the progress we as a culture have made and the forces for good that do operate in the world. The more attention and support I can direct toward those endeavors the more that "togetherness" and the willingness to see the goodness in others will prosper.
    I am truly thankful for and encouraged by every act of help performed by one person for another, especially in the face of such devastation as we see in Texas.

  4. people might not think this applies to what ails us.
    but I have always loved this saying ~
    'if you have the choice of being right or being kind
    always choose kind!'
    that's what we've been seeing I think… the power of pure kindness in the face of terrible adversity and calamity.
    this is a beautiful post brenda.

  5. Here, here Brenda. You are so right. We are all human. We all would do well to remember our roots as Americans. Each of us, unless 100% indigenous, descended from immigrants. Be kind people. It's easy if you try.

    I'm not crazy about the oiliness on my hands but I detest dryness. When it is sucking out my natural oils something has to be done. I never knew to use food grade mineral oil on my wooden spoons. You learn something new everyday. Do you just wash as usual?

  6. The footage is heartbreaking, no doubt, but you are right about one thing – it's wonderful to see folks going outside their comfort zone to help a stranger in need. Gives you hope, doesn't it?

  7. Amen, Brenda.

    The mineral oil…funny you should mention that this morning. I just ordered some (yes, food grade) from amazon for my cutting boards and wooden spoons. I use both a lot and everything is so dry. I don't like oil on my hands either, so I will wear disposable gloves. I keep a box in my kitchen cabinet along with the foil, parchment paper and plastic bags. I use the gloves for when I have to handle anything messy (like the oil) or when handling meat. I sometimes even use them when administering eye drops to Zippo.

  8. Remember that Rita, which hit Houston on the heels of Katrina, led to an evacuation that was itself a disaster. The city expects 30K people in shelters, which is a lot, but just half of 1% (0.5%) of the population of the metro area. That's why evacuating everybody just isn't possible.
    Houston's problem, aside from the massive amounts of rain, is overdevelopment. Will people be allowed to rebuild everywhere or will some areas finally be declared off-limits? The other problem is climate change. Expect more of the same–bigger storms–as long as we keep pumping carbon in the air. Consider that in 1900 there were around 25K cars world-wide. Today there are 1.5 billion. I'm not a Luddite who says we should get rid of cars. But we need to make them a lot cleaner. And electricity generation, too.

    1. If someone didn't believe in climate change before this, they should now. Apparently we have a president who doesn't see the alarming changes in the same way many of us do. Laws have got to be changed that allow builders to build cheap in areas that will become flood zones, and will have to be challenged if they do so.

  9. Great heartfelt piece. The good news is that while the conflict-makers garner a lot of alarmist headlines, they are a tiny, tiny minority of evil in a vast sea of people of goodwill. I read about a woman in her 80s who was a faithful Audubon volunteer teaching preschoolers about nature. She died in her flooded home in Houston but left a legacy of caring. Every life has a story and amidst the not so great ones are many inspirational ones.

    1. I had not heard about the 80 year old woman. What a wonderful story! Nature is so important and people are so busy these days, you wonder if preschoolers are being taught about such things.

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