Community

I have had this post rumbling around in my brain for a few weeks now, and I can’t figure out exactly how I want to say it.  When Hurricane Matthew hit, we were without power- without grocery stores- without all the modern conveniences we rely on for at least a few days.

The main thing I noticed is that none of us in this area cared about the election, about the Clintons or Trump, that we weren’t passive aggressively liking certain types of articles on facebook (oops- guilty).  We were united in the things that were alike as opposed to the things that were different.  We talked to our neighbors, we walked our dogs, we checked on people.  We didn’t care if they had an #imwithher or a #makeamerica great hashtag, because at the end of the day those are not the things that matter.  What matters is if you share your generator and your bacon and if you are kind to others and you believe in basic human rights and goodness.

Most of us do, and the Hurricane righted the world and reminded us of that.  It reminded me that it doesn’t matter what political party someone is, that I like someone because they make me laugh and they share their ice they fought for at the Kangaroo and they talk to me in the aisle at Food Lion.

Facebook tends to take that away from us.  We are back to hashtags and finger pointing.  “Comment below if you are voting Trump or Hillary.”  “Hillary for Prison”.  “Trump supporters are idiots”  “Hillary supporters are not Christian”.

When you say these things on your facebook, you say them about your friends and about your neighbors.  It is as if you say “Hey John?  I think you are an idiot for believing that way.  I know you shared your chainsaw with me two weeks ago, but I think you are an idiot for voting for Trump/Clinton/Johnson/whomever.”

I will be the first to admit that I hated not having electricity.  I can’t stand the chaos that the Hurricane brought.  I don’t like not having control and not knowing when things will be cleaned up and fixed.  I want it done right and I want it done now.  However, the Hurricane did show me that there can be a world where we don’t bash our friends and neighbors for thinking differently from us or voting differently from us.  One thing the Flossip site helped me to do was to take a position of neutrality and positivity.  To go back to what my mother taught me years ago:  “If you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say it but you definitely DON’T WRITE IT DOWN!”

I am proud of this town for how we pulled together before, during, and after Hurricane Matthew.  Florence has its faults, but we also have a lot of good.  There are so many good people here that are working to make this city a better place.  From our mayor and city manager and city council to the sanitation workers to the people that smile at you in the aisles of the grocery store… our city is what you make of it.  I have always tried to make it great- and it has served me well!  Lets all work harder at making it a great place to live, celebrate what makes us a community more and not try to bash the things that we don’t agree with about someone else.

(So, yes… you SHOULD delete that nasty little facebook status you posted. Oh, and if you say “I’m not being mean, but…” or “I’m not starting an argument, but…”  you probably are doing exactly what you say you are not doing.)

 

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4 comments

  1. I got to know my neighbors better during the 7 days after the hurricane than I have in the 12 years I’ve lived here. And I’m ashamed about that. They are really nice people. (Well, except for the dog that barks all the time, that I hadn’t noticed much till I needed to sleep with the windows open.) I intend to try to do better. It was really nice relying on each other for little and big things – like manual can openers, borrowed generators, and information about which grocery stores had restocked their ice cream freezers.

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