Thursday, May 23, 2013

Who's helping US recover today?


After the devastating Oklahoma tornado this week, we've seen many images of people helping people. People rescuing trapped victims. People clearing debris. People comforting and feeding and aiding and consoling.
We're a nation that steps up. We volunteer. We donate. We help those in need. We work together to do the work that needs to be done. We fix the broken and heal the injured and rebuild what was devastated.
As the reporter noticed the traumatized animal under the [Oklahoma tornado] rubble, you’ll notice human hands reaching down, lifting up the debris, pulling the dog from its trap and holding it close in a gesture of gratitude, relief, love and pure joy.

Human hands.

As has always been the case in good times and bad, human hands are the things we see in action. They’re the agents of true intervention and rescue. Human hands pull us from the rubble. They bandage our wounds. They carry us to safety. They wipe our tears. They hold us close. And they will again  rebuild.
~ Seth Andrews

That's true in every community: In our towns and cities, we come together when disaster strikes. We help our neighbors whether storm or fire or  economic downturn or disaster of whatever nature wreaks havoc on our world*. People helping other people is a cherished American Value.

Except in one location: In the halls of Congress, in what should be the heart of our nation's capitol, we have a group of legislators that has no clue what this American Value means. They stand in the way of recovery. They refuse to extend a hand to help people who are suffering. They sequester and interrupt essential government services; they look away as layoffs leave children without the HeadStart of daycare that educates -- but they make sure their own paychecks are uninterrupted. They turn away as cutbacks take food deliveries away from needy housebound invalids -- but they keep feasting on lobbyist-supplied goodies for themselves. They absent themselves from committees and ignore the climate crisis even as freak storms decimate the land in one region after another. They filibuster and secretly slip unrelated corporate support into essential legislation but don't want to fund FEMA.

It's time to remind our supposed representatives: People help people. When disaster strikes, People extend a helping hand. Our representatives should support US and help not just People in Oklahoma but People throughout the whole nation to recover from the disasters keeping US down.

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