Friday, September 09, 2005



I Admit It

OK, so I spent today talking about personal responsibility with my Republican cronies, that people should be allowed to stay and die if they choose, that most of them could have prepared better. And it's not that I didn't, and don't, mean it. But I'd started crying by the time I was alone and just watching the promos for the "Shelter from the Storm" concert currently playing on seventeen channels.

I've already blogged several times about Katrina. But it's time to make it personal. It's time to admit that all of us, Republican, Democrat, independent, whatever, have been shaken by this. And that it's OK to believe much of it could have been prevented, yet still be heartbroken by the sight of victims who have nothing. It's OK to criticize the officials who could have done better, yes, and yet still be so proud of the American people who are reaching into their pockets in the hopes of making a difference.

So I admit it. I'm having trouble reconciling my heart and my head on this one. As my head screams about screwups, my heart cries that it's breaking. You'll have time to sort out how to feel or what to believe about faults and prevention and responsibility. But think of the children, without homes, some never knowing if they'll see their families again. Pray, give if you can, money or whatever you can spare. And remember this, too: no matter what you believe, it's still okay to cry.

12 Comments:

At 9/09/2005 10:09:00 PM, Blogger Jeff H said...

You have so eloquently delineated the duality of our nature: head and heart, both important, neither to fully rule us.

 
At 9/09/2005 10:38:00 PM, Blogger Amigo said...

Very well said Nettie.

 
At 9/09/2005 10:48:00 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

At this point I feel bad if I critisize anyone involved because I really don't know their heart or if I would have been able to do a better job had I been in their shoes. I do however commend the bravery that I've witnessed, all I can do is focus on the good.

 
At 9/10/2005 12:24:00 AM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Crying is for women and homos. I find it healthy to take all my emotions and pack them tighter and tighter down into my psyche, all the while using alcohol as anesthesia.

 
At 9/10/2005 02:15:00 AM, Anonymous Barbara said...

You are so right Nettie Head V Heart as Jeff says....

Perhaps it is just as well, as you say, to lok past the blame element and see the bigger picture - I expect Jesus's heart is broken by the pain and suffering going on there too..

 
At 9/10/2005 11:37:00 AM, Blogger Jeff H said...

Barbara, I think I understand the sentiment to "look past the blame"; but without addressing the clear bungles on the part of local and state officials, we are doomed to repeat this scenario over and over. We cannot afford to "look past the blame", if by that you mean "ignore those who clearly made mistakes, especially easily foreseeable mistakes".

 
At 9/10/2005 12:25:00 PM, Blogger Joe said...

I am one of the best "blamers" around. I blame the individuals, the Mayor, the Governor, and the feds for one part or another of this monstrous ordeal.

Yet, I too, find it necessary to look past the blame long enough to be certain that human beings have their present needs (not wants) provided UNTIL they can begin to provide their own.

Then, I think it is essential that we withdraw and insist that they begin to provide their own needs, as well as their wants.

In the mean time we must do what we can to help without pandering or reinforcing the welefare state.

 
At 9/10/2005 03:06:00 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Hi Jeff - no I certainly don't mean ignore the mistakes - I think I meant - get help there now - quickly -whatever it takes - rather than wasting time arguing about it - THEN analyse and see what went wrong after the event and try to ensure that it does not happen that way again.

I suppose we don't get the whole picture here - only what makes it on BBC broadcasts or newspaper reports - so I am hardly qualified to comment really.

I am sorry if I have caused any offense.

 
At 9/10/2005 03:34:00 PM, Blogger Blair said...

I am all for personal responsibility. Sadly, I think that there are too many lawyers out there that would gets these folks to think that they should have been removed at all costs should anything happen to them.

I am all for personal responsibility, but I hate the folks that talk the talk, but don't make that walk!

 
At 9/10/2005 04:18:00 PM, Blogger Better Safe Than Sorry said...

hey

 
At 9/10/2005 11:17:00 PM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Nettie: The kids are what touch me the most - the looks on their faces are unforgettable.

 
At 9/11/2005 12:17:00 AM, Blogger Jeff H said...

Barbara, no offense taken.

I still think there is plenty enough "energy" to both meet the needs of those suffering in the aftermath of the hurricane, and criticize those who so richly deserve criticism at the same time. It is a predictable path that, if we allow time to pass before holding people's feet to the fire, it'll be a smoldering pile of ashed, rather than a roaring--cleansing, Biblically speaking--fire. And the surest way to let that time pass, while making it appear that it's NOT, is to appoint a government commission to "investigate" the matter. President Bush has, unfortunately, endorsed the idea of a bipartisan Congressional investigation. Bad move. I heard someone put forth the idea of appointing 5 retired military generals to be the "commission"; THAT makes sense.

So, yes, let's get the basic life needs of the evacuees/refugees taken care of, give them a helping hand in reestablishing their lives--hopefully NOT right back in harm's way in New Orleans--while at the same time holding accountable those local and state, and yes in some instances federal, officials who so horribly botched their legal mandates to protect the citizens and provide opportunity for the citizens to protect themselves.

 

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