There’s obviously no sense in trying to capture in words what’s happening in New Orleans right now. As someone said yesterday, “this is our tsunami.” The death toll may not rise as high, but the devastation and the scars that will be left make the comparison understandable. Not to minimize what happened four years ago, but this even seems more poignant somehow. The faces of the “refugees,” the children, the hopelessness. The Trade Center bombing happened in an instant, and it’s scope was defined. This tragedy had a two day build up, and it just keeps developing. And it keeps getting worse.
And once again, the efforts of bloggers have taken center stage. There will be plenty of time to deconstruct all of this later, but it’s hard to look at this past week on the Web without some amazement. I won’t go so far as to call it seismic, but I would not be surprised to look back on this event as another in a series of defining moments on the road to some new understandings about how communities and trust relationships are built. Old structures are falling, and new ones are being built, in more ways than one.
My worst fear is that we don’t heed the obvious lessons that New Orleans is trying to teach us. Are we prepared for the most obvious scenarios in our own neighborhoods? Can we really trust what we’re being told? On many levels, I really fear for what the future might hold.
Just in case anyone is looking for a way to help, the national Unitarian Universalist Church has a donation page. For what it’s worth, they have my complete trust in terms of where the money goes. I’m sure any amount will be welcomed.