The Soapbox & The Flood

Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle via AP

*steps on soapbox

Disasters are horrible. They break families, hope, futures, and so much more. But they can also show parts of what makes us human. I have friends in Houston and East Texas, some that were stuck and are now safe, some that went to help, and others that are on the way. As I made my donation to the Red Cross last night, I didn’t feel anything. Not a pat on the back to myself, no self glorification. Only a sadness that thousands of people are displaced and lost everything while I sit in shelter and air conditioning.

Then today, I turn on the computer and see a mob at the “digital” gates of Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church. They may have a point that the building could be used as a resource and safe haven…and maybe they don’t. But what seemed to be missing was the attitude that so often is forgotten in times of trouble. We forget to give ourselves and instead look for someone more successful to cast the stone at. We do it with politicians, celebrities, and even our community. Instead of fighting our way to the core of an issue, we stand in the back throwing pebbles trying to spark something. Forgetting that in moments like these, the $15 we will spend on Starbucks tomorrow and the next day could help put someone’s life back together, that volunteering time with individuals different from us could change our opinion of a situation, and remembering that our actions scream loud…while our voices are merely a whisper.

We are better than this. There are moments to have debate and form accusations, and then there are moments to productively contribute to change.

*steps off soapbox.