Ashley Meehan shields his eyes from wind driven sand from Hurricane Wilma on a beach in Miami, Florida October 24, 2005.
Reuters Press. Photograph taken by Brian Snyder

The look of despair can appear when confronted by a natural catastrophe or when devastated by a man-made disaster.  The sense of surrender can be stronger than any external storm.

This topic is of inordinate interest to me.  As I watch my babies, mammals that are not human, I am fascinated by their ability to thrive.  They are curious, concerned; they are scientists.  They love to learn.  They rarely, if ever, engage in the self-destructive behaviors that humans do.  I will write more on this topic later.  For now, I want to share what inspired me to re-visit this contemplation and why I am sharing it with you, dear reader.

I wrote and published two treatises on hurricane Wilma and the after affects of this storm. 

People posted their thoughts, experiences, and observations.  Many mused that those living in Florida must accept what is.  Some stated that it is not that bad.  Some shared stories; they spoke of where they live, and of how they were living.  Others mentioned it could be worse.  Then one novel thought appeared.  A comment suggested the parallel between life after “massive layoffs in Flint, Michigan” and existence in post storm ravaged Florida.

This analysis took me by surprise.  It was so pertinent, so relevant, so real, and simply elegant.  It was astute, accurate, and sadly, another indication that apathy persists, even when we appear so active.  The remark reminded me of my own life and observations.

In response to the eloquence of libnewsie, I offered this. 

Dear All . . .

The last few comments take me to a sorrowful place, the acceptance of apathy.  In my own life there were many times when I lived in squalor, I made my surroundings livable, and to my liking, at least, to a point.  However, I could only do so much with the limited resources I had, or so I chose to believe.  I acted on my truths.

I lived with mold, mayhem, and misery. Yet, I was comfortable, even happy.  For me, life was good, or was it the phrase that causes me much distress when I hear others say it?  Life was “as good as could be expected.”

I became insensitive to the unpleasantness of the neighborhood, or so it seemed.  I chose to be, not consciously, but for the sake of my sanity.  Though in many avenues of my life I am and was an activist, in my locality and circumstances, I felt powerless.  Possibly, probably, I never bothered to take the power.  I resigned myself to my situation. Actually, I never considered that it could be different.

The thought of moving seemed overwhelming, impossible, and even unnecessary.  When I read of what is accepted as standard in Florida, in Michigan, and elsewhere, I wonder.  Do we allow aspects of life to happen to us? 

We write our letters, we protest, we complain aloud, we want better; however, we accept less.  We may work well to improve some areas of our life and not others.  Is it human nature to accept what we believe we cannot fully change?  Might it be it laziness?  Do we not know that we are worth more, even the best? Could there be another theory that satisfies the question, why do we do, as we do, accept what we do not want?  I wonder.

I am curious; what do you think?  I thank you for caring and sharing.  My hope is we will all work to change what we know is not as it could be.  Let us join together and create the best of worlds.

Betsy L. Angert Be-Think

I would also like to express my gratitude to Corvidae, chantedor, incertus, NOdiaspora, LtdEdishn, akeitz, LtdEdishn, PatsBard, jayatRI, demnomore, maybeeso in Michigan, Brian Boru, and joynow, all of whom helped me to think beyond what was seemingly on the surface. 

Wilma, as Katrina, provided us with an opportunity to reflect, to look at ourselves, and to see how easily we can become comfortable with what is, even if it is unhealthy, unwise, and hugely self-destructive.  May we all be cognizant; what we can and do live with is often, not the best.  Nature brings storms; however, what man brings upon himself is much more turbulent.

References for your review.

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