Disasters and People Power

The fire is just about over here in Boulder and my co-workers homes are all ok.  That is very good news.  There are over 160 families who won't have houses to go home to and that is very sad.  The outpouring of support in this community is amazing.  That is often the case in disasters in this country because we Americans are amazing when it comes to showing up when we are needed.  It is as if all the differences disappear when we sense there are others who can use our help.  We like to help because it makes us feel good about what we are doing.

Why is it so satisfying when we go help others in need?  How come there is always such a positive outpouring of support in catastrophic times?   Helping others is hardwired into most of us because that is how we were raised.  Also acts of compassion always feel good.  The golden rule applies here and we sense it.  We want to help others because it feels right, we know it is a good thing to do, and we would want others to help us out in times of disaster. 

There is something very powerful about disasters that pulls us out of our homes and has us reaching out to others.  In our community there are a number of homeless people and there is not a huge turnout for their needs but there is for the newly homeless.  It seems many realize that it could have been them devastated by a disaster and they are grateful to help those in need.  This special circumstances kind of giving is easy to rationalize and feel good about.  Who doesn't like feeling good for doing something positive? 

I have only lived in Colorado for about 5 years and I have seen the people of the state as kind of stingy because they refuse to pay taxes on anything and thus money spent on education is 48th of the 50 states and mental health and addiction service is 50th of the 50 states.  Now I understand that this is not necessarily stinginess but more a dislike of anything to do with government.  This is more a matter of faulty thinking that is damaging the possibilities of education and mental health service in the state. 

I work for a government and we are poorly paid but incredibly dedicated people.  We make a difference in our community and in emergencies we show up to help.  How come people have so many issues against government, which is made up of people just like them trying to make a positive difference for the people they serve?  This seems more like false beliefs running their thinking than any reality especially at a local and state level. 

Yes D.C. is a mess and frustrating but that is only so because we are not demanding changes.  We let the money do the talking in DC and that always means our needs are secondary to those who are run by greed and power.

Yes government is made up of people.  Yes religions are made up of people. Yes corporations are made up of people.  Now what needs to happen is that people take back their power from all these institutions.

In the next few weeks I am going to write more about taking back our power because it won’t be long before elections are upon us.  Elections do have power to make changes but first we have to find a greater power within.