This post has nothing to do with travel. Sometimes, I get off topic. Sorry, not sorry.
Over the past year, it’s been easy for me to get caught up in the drama and controversy in our country. There has been no shortage of hot topics. Politics and the pandemic have polarized our nation. Even innocent comments can be misconstrued and politicized, turning into nasty arguments online and in person.
I admit, even certain reader comments on this blog have given me pause. I’m amazed that even a post about travel can bring on cruel and even racist comments. Sometimes, I wonder about the future and if people have become too hardened to show kindness, respect and humility.
But recently, my faith in humanity has been restored. I’ve seen incredible acts of generosity and kindness that have blown me away and given me hope.
The Power and Water Crisis in Texas
You’ve probably heard about the snow, ice and below freezing temperatures in Texas. I know that Northerners like to joke about how dramatic Texans can be whenever winter weather hits. But this past week has been no laughing matter.
The power grid in Texas was completely unprepared for this disaster. Millions of people have been without power for long stretches of time. The temperatures dropped to below zero in some parts of the state. Our houses are not insulated like they are in northern states. Pipes have frozen and burst inside houses. Some areas are without water or are on a boil requirement, which is difficult to do without power. People are struggling to stay warm and keep their families safe.
But in the midst of all the chaos, I’ve seen remarkable selfless acts by neighbors and strangers. Our city’s mayor has set up an email and hotline for people to personally call him for help. We don’t live in a small city, so he’s been very busy.
I see neighbors helping neighbors with shoveling, getting cars unstuck and providing food. People lucky enough to have power are offering up their warm houses to those who are freezing.
My family was able to borrow a snow shovel from a neighbor. We don’t own one, and our garden shovel wasn’t effective in removing snow. In addition to our driveway, we were able to help some neighbors get their driveways clear. A neighbor we had never met before taught my son how to snowboard.
For the time being, we are not republicans or democrats. We are not vaxxers vs. anti-vaxxers, maskers vs. non-maskers, Pepsi vs. Coke or cat vs. dog people. We are just all people.
The Vaccination Process
The other recent situation that has surprised me is people’s willingness to help others with getting Covid vaccines. Where I live, the process to get the vaccine for eligible people isn’t always easy.
In a local Facebook group, people have volunteered to help work online for folks who are not internet savvy, trying to get them on as many lists as possible. Even with the snowy roads, people have volunteered to pick up others and drive them to their vaccination appointments.
People understand that we will all be better off once this pandemic is over, and we’ve got to work together to help each other. I’ve seen a real sense of community and camaraderie.
It’s easy to be jaded, skeptical and cynical. But at least for today, I am hopeful, optimistic and inspired by what is happening around me.
I encourage all of you to reach out to a friend, family member or neighbor who may need your help. If you live close to me in the DFW area, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. firstname.lastname@example.org
Readers–if you’ve been affected by this recent storm, how are you doing? Please check in with us in the comments section.
Nancy lives near Dallas, Texas, with her husband and three kids. Her favorite vacations include the beach, cruising and everything Disney.