Katrina, one year later

As the one year anniversary of hurricane Katrina’s devastation is remembered, it’s so important not only to recall the human tragedy but also to take action–personally do something about it.

Not too long ago my Dad had the opportunity to volunteer in the cleanup and rebuilding process. At that time he reported just how much was left to be done before the rebuilding could begin in earnest–lots of work was an understatement. 

Yesterday I heard from a gal who went to New Orleans to “mud out” houses and to help home owners retrieve that one possession of priceless sentimental value. She already extended her time there as a volunteer and will be returning shortly through Christmas time, setting aside her planned return to college and master’s degree courses.

To my Dad and this women are great examples of what I wish were more the rule and not the exception when it comes to “servant leadership” in America. Church and other faith-based organizations have stepped up where government agencies have left or are dissolving. Rather than learn today about all of the speeches and appearances being made, I’d rather see more action and progress. Actions speak so much louder than words, and the lack of action seems deafening to me.

Even if only via TV, we’re all witnesses to the human suffering caused by natural disaster one year ago. As a witness, I find myself asking if I’ve thought enough, prayed enough, given enough, done enough about what I still know to be true…many of my fellow Americans are still suffering.

Update: The first guest on today’s broadcast of The Charlie Rose Show was Spike Lee who recently made the film “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts” for HBO. At points, Spike asked more questions than did his host, Charlie Rose. One of his questions stuck in my mind: How can the US [government] respond to Sri Lanka half-way around the world in only two days but take five days to reach out to its own states of Mississippi and Louisiana roughly eight months later?