American Whiplash – Harvey vs Charlottesville


What a couple of weeks!! I watched the events in Charlottesville and became disoriented….am I in the 1950’s or 1960’s with the KKK and white supremacists? Am I in the 1930’s or 1940’s with Nazis? Am I in America with so much hate and division? What did I not realize about my fellow Americans? What was I missing? Do my neighbors hold views that I thought were long debunked: ideas of division, hate and racism?

What seems to be different from earlier times is that people are speaking out, protesters are there, voices for peace and unity are being heard. Love, compassion and a determination not to go back to an earlier time is also clear among many of my fellow Americans. But for these few weeks I keep wondering who are we? Where are we headed?

And then Harvey hit. A real, immediate and devastating disaster. I watch TV and find myself in tears. The pain of what is happening is overwhelming. The fear that this might never end must be real for all Texans. Empathy for those there, fear for families of friends of mine has brought me to tears and disbelief. And then I watch the rescuers---just people like you and me. No one asks what color are you? How did you get into this country? What is your religion? What is your gender or sexual orientation? What is your political affiliation? How much money do you have? Are you a cop or civilian? The only questions I see being asked are: do you need help, and can I give help? This is the America I know, I support and I want to nurture.

It has felt like whiplash going from Charlottesville to Harvey. And yet it is an American journey---to move from what divides us to what unites us. To move from hate to help and compassion. I am recommitting myself to work to bridge differences, to help where I can and to help my clients reach for their better angels. Harvey is devastating and yet it is also proof that the American ideals are still very much alive.

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Feel the 'whiplash' too? When the times seem overwhelming, it's OK to reach out to speak to someone who can help you sort it all out. Contact me, and we'll reach for our better angels together.


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