Just got to New Orleans yesterday evening. I didn’t intentionally plan to be here during Katrina’s 10th Anniversary, but I’m glad it happened that way. On Saturday I’ll be joining the other 10,000 people who will be volunteering during the city’s Citywide Day of Service.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. I was barely a freshman in college at the time and to be honest, at the time I didn’t understand the magnitude of the devastation and all of its implications, including the trauma and hurt it would produce.
80% of New Orleans was under water with some areas experiencing 20 feet floods. In total, more than a million people were displaced in the Gulf Coast region, which is more than the entire population of San Francisco, CA or Austin, TX or two Atlanta, GA’s. The monetary damage was $135 billion. 10 years later, some regions are still rebuilding.
10 years ago, this could have been any of us, had we lived in the Gulf Coast. When Mother Nature hits, and in whatever way she does, she doesn’t care about any of the things that separate and divide us – whether it’s the color of our skin or the number in our bank account or the extent of our material possessions or the faith that we believe in. The outcome will be the same, especially if we’re unlucky.
Appreciate where you are, it’s probably not that bad. Appreciate what you have, you probably have more than most. Find every reason you can to smile and see the beauty that is all around you. Remember too that everything is temporary, including where you are, right now.