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Forced to view from broader perspectives

POSTED: January 20, 2010 4:00 a.m.

Seeing the magnitude of disasters in Haiti makes it difficult to dwell on one’s own problems, even though they must eventually be faced and dealt with. We also think more clearly about our blessings.


The bombing thwarted on Christmas Day reminded us that ordinary citizens are still targets of terrorists. The snow and ice blanketing two-thirds of our nation (and others) told us that we cannot control all the forces of nature. But we also learned more about methods of protecting and coping that, although far from perfect, are at least envisioned and working most of the time. Most planes arrive safely; most major highways are kept passable, even in our own rural county; most power lines keep working or are restored; we receive our mail and watch bowl games.


How does it happen? Because most individuals assume their specific responsibilities and, that being so, pieces of puzzles finally fit together.


We may complain — some loudly and continuously — that things are all awry and that governments and others are not serving us well. We point fingers in all directions.


As one day merges into another, however, we hear suggestions that sound reasonable, see a solution emerging, or a problem actually being solved. 


Then we realize that our imperfect world can function if we spend our energies working together and are not pushing or shoving to be first in line or to put someone else out of the way.


Eventually, that will happen in Haiti, at least I pray so. There are many examples of people unselfishly helping others, as is always the case when disaster strikes. But everything works better when there is coordination and cooperation.


That seems true as the world acknowledges threats of terror, recognizes greed and bullying, whether with corporations or individuals wanting the largest dividends, the most publicity, the first snow plow, or just a bottle of water.


Perhaps I am attempting to see more connections than are understandable.


When I sense of being overwhelmed, however, I try to think of how one can make one step at a time to reach some sort of normalcy.


For Haiti that’s a lot of steps, but there are many helpers. Polarized politicians, contentious workers or greedy individuals may also find it in their hearts to begin their own movements in that direction.


Can we find the proper perspectives?


Helen Taylor’s column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.


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