Not really sure where to post this.  I figured Ethic and Morals was probably the most appropriate.

If anyone watched the news this evening, you've probably seen the horrific destruction caused by the tornadoes that swept through the Midwest last night. And, the bleakest spot was Harrisburg, Illinois. Six  dead (so far), hundreds homeless, and businesses which yesterday were open and serving patrons, are now nothing more than splinters, broken glass, and shattered lives.

I happen to live about a 20 minute drive from Harrisburg, IL. Harrisburg was not the only community in Southern Illinois to be hit hard.  While not on the evening news, places and communities you've never heard of were also shattered.  Ridgway, Illinois in Gallatin County (self proclaimed Popcorn Capitol of the Midwest), along with Mounds, in Pulaski County (site of a Civil War Union Naval base on the Ohio River) which school's roof was torn off and landed in the neighbors yard.

Here's the point of this post. Prior to the storm, we Illinoisans, like everyone else, were arguing at each other at the coffee shops, VFW's, restaurants, Elks Lodges, and county courthouses about President Obama, Santorum, Romney, etc. And, at times,  pretty heated discussions.  

Once the F4 twister came through, all of that changed. Me and my neighbors got in our pickup trucks (we all drive one down here), got our chain saws and gas cans, and started driving around to see where we could help and be of assistance.  Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, Baptist, Catholic, Atheist - none of that mattered at all. What mattered was this - are our neighbors OK, does the elderly couple down the road need a generator, was there anyone trapped in the pile of rubble?

I guess my musing while writing this is - why is it that a disaster can bring us together without regard to race, creed or politics, and when things are calm, we're at each other's throats?

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I hate to sound crass, but I think you can put it one word:

Survival.

Thanks for that Pat. It is nice to hear. Survival does bring out the best in us. How can we bring it out the rest of the time?

Maybe ... just maybe ... the recognition that we get ONE SHOT at this, no do-overs, no reincarnation, no heaven, no hell.  That what we do has an impact, positive or negative on us and the world around us, to one degree or another, not just when lives are on the line but on days as ordinary as yesterday or tomorrow.  That we create our legacy to the world RIGHT NOW ... with How We Act

That's hardly the whole deal, but I think that's a part of it.

Im glad that people were able to set aside their differences in time of crisis.  I hope that people are able to remember one another's humanity when the crisis is over.  That working together helps build bridges where there were only walls before. 

You're right, Loren.  It is survival.  Starting first with those that share our familial DNA, then our neighbors, local community, larger community, region, etc.  I hate like hell that this natural disaster happened - the school's roof, by the way, was in a friends yard, next to the remnants of what used to be his barn. I realize that once the results of the disaster have been cleaned up, and the re-building starts, things will go back to the way they were. I can always hold out hope, I suppose, that when they do, maybe a reminder of the darker days will appeal to the (as a former Illinoisan once said), "the better angels of our nature." 

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