When any calamity has been suffered, the first thing to be remembered is how much has been escaped. – Samuel Johnson
In our business lives we can often become cynical and jaded about human nature. We can begin to view the whole of humanity through our less than happy experiences with those who conspired to get us fired, or those who didn’t have our back when we needed them, even though we never failed to have their back.
There is another side to human nature though, and I witnessed it during the recent wildfires here in San Diego County, in Southern California.
Watching the coverage of the many bumper to bumper evacuations along winding, detoured routes, in triple digit sweltering heat, car after car passed by the news cameras, and even though they were aware that their homes might be reduced to cinders, folks remained upbeat and calm, grateful that total strangers were handing them ice water to keep themselves, their children, their grandparents, and every conceivable sort of pet quenched.
Occasionally, news people would slip a microphone into this or that car to ask what else people were able to take with them, and in every instance the answer was family photos, either in album form or on a hard drive. When it counts, more people than not have their priorities straight!
Selflessness was also in evidence during the devastation. One instance in particular got my attention. People evacuating their neighborhood noticed a cat in an upstairs window of their neighbor’s house, one paw against the glass pane wide-eyed, alone, afraid, and trapped. They knew that their neighbors had left for work hours earlier and flames were beginning to shoot up into the air from the back of the house. At risk to themselves, they forced their way into the house and rescued their neighbor’s cat.
In other instances, even as their own homes burned to the ground, people stayed in their neighborhood to hose down their neighbor’s homes, saving their neighbor’s homes in the process.
San Diego, I’m proud that you are my neighbors. And, I’m grateful to you for giving my faith in human nature a much needed booster shot!
As we take stock of what has happened, we can take some comfort in knowing that we escaped far worse, due to the timely efforts of firefighters and the exemplary response of private citizens.
Now, let’s all pray for a few gentle raindrops, and a lot of healing.
How do you view human nature? Please leave your thoughts in the Comments section below.
In the meantime,
Bestest to all,