NORTH STATE, Redding, California—Happiness, contentment, ecstasy, pain, misery and suffering.
The line between love and hate is a thin one.
Nostalgia is remembering the good things from the past and forgetting the bad.
All of these things must be reflected upon to understand. Each and everyone of us is a combination of our background, education, experience, preconceptions, bias and many other environmental and social influences.
Yet all of the above must be confronted by almost every human being throughout their lifetime. Our quality of life is not only determined by our ability to make good decisions, but by what happens in the world around us as well.
There are people who live in their own world and only consider circumstances that touch them personally. However, most of us feel a connection with our fellow human beings. When we see a child hurting, we hurt. When we see an animal abused, we are abused. When we see hatred and violence, we feel shame that one of our own could be so crass and uncaring.
The definition of evil is the absence of empathy. Evil's greatest ally is apathy. Evil and apathy, violence and hatred slowly dissolves the mutual respect we feel for one another as fellow humans. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are excellent examples of humanity being human. How the people of Texas handled Harvey gave us all a reason to be proud, especially compared to the hurricane Katrina debacle. Two hundred thousand (200,000) citizen volunteers, wading in chest high waters, days without sleep, working in shelters, driving relief and rescue vehicles. The Texan's fierce independence and love for one another regardless of faith, creed or the complexion of their skin, gives every American an opportunity to feel proud and share their selfless sacrifices.
Irma has ravaged the Florida Keys and caused billions of dollars in damage. We see the same acts of kindness, goodness and decency in the Floridians that we saw in Texas.
I don't know about you, but my concern during these storms caused much anguish. I feel compassion for those who are still surviving in shelters and have lost their homes and loved ones. As fellow Americans, it's not only our responsibility, but duty to support those who so desperately need it and understand that these disasters can have a healing affect and offer a new beginning for all Americans -- if only we hold life in its true perspective.
I'm Marge Perry and that's my opinion. Thanks for reading.