Worried About Las Vegas - and Lee County Too

I am worried.  Really worried.  I am worried that we will forget about Houston, or San Juan or Mexico City.  Because terror struck last night.  Whether we call it an act of domestic terrorism or not, terror struck last night in Las Vegas.  The men and women, the girls and boys caught in that hailstorm of bullets were terrified.  And well they should have been.  And so, it was an act of terror.  For not only did it frighten those caught in the mass shooting, it also made all of us a bit more fearful, a bit more uncertain about our own personal safety. Truly, my heart goes out to all those impacted, directly and indirectly by this horrendous act.

But still, as I said, I am worried.  Because we as Americans get so caught up in the news cycle.  It is as if we are afflicted with a national case of ADD, a national case of Attention Deficit Disorder.  We can't seem to hold our focus on one concern for more than a week or so.  We are so easily distracted that we speak about the disaster of the week.  And so things often come and go without anything really being done about the underlying factors that figured into their happening.  We live by the motto, out of sight, out of mind.

So there was flooding in Houston after Hurricane Harvey that has disrupted millions of lives?  That's so sad, our thoughts and prayers go out them.  This week.  An earthquake toppled buildings, even schoolhouses, and killed little children as well as adults?  So tragic!  Our thoughts and prayers go out to them.  This week.  An island full of American citizens was laid to waste by Hurricane Maria?  Goodness!  Our thoughts and prayers . . . . You get the drift.

More and more I realize the importance of thinking globally, but acting locally.  I need to support the various agencies that will help address the problems in far flung places like Houston, San Juan, Mexico City and San Juan.  I need to be aware of them.  But I also need to address the problems closest to home.  Flooding?  There's plenty of that right here in Southwest Florida due to Hurricane Irene.  What can I do to help?  An earthquake in mexico City?  Maybe I need to sepak out about the impact of fracking on our fragile limestone underpinnings in South Florida.  Gun violence in Las Vegas?  How can I work for better gun control and readily accessible mental helcth care in my own community?  Poverty in Puerto Rico made worse by a devastating storm?  What can I do to help alleviate the poverty right here in Lee County. 

I'm not suggesting that anyone should close out the wider world.  But I am suggesting we can do more than move on from one disaster to the next.  We can make a difference right where we live.  We can, and we should.

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