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The Writing Mother

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Thursday, September 01, 2005
Gaining an understanding
These past days have been a lesson in understanding.

I’ve been thinking about things today and talking about the events in New Orleans with friends. I have been home most of the day and have had the news on.

I write mainly non fiction on a variety of topics and the very first thing I try to do when researching a piece is to *understand* what is happening. Perhaps that is why I ask so many questions and wonder and think about every aspect I can. People don’t always like it when someone outside asks a question because they assume it’s a judgment - and sometimes it probably is – but when I ask a question it is because I really want to know. I want to understand a situation not to pass judgment, but maybe to speak on someone’s behalf. That’s why I started writing, I wanted to speak up and be heard and I wanted to tell my story and the story of others who didn’t have the opportunity.

Talking with friends and reading some information coming out I’ve learned so much more about different cultures and ways of life. I mean I have been ‘poor’… but I have not experienced poverty. I have been sick, but I have not experienced being infirm. I have been scared for my life, but never scared for the future of my children.

We can’t judge and we shouldn’t judge, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask questions. It’s the people asking the questions now about why there wasn’t a better evacuation plan that will pay attention to ensure that there will be one in the future. You can’t learn from mistakes if you don’t know why and how they happened.

I think that the emergency services being dispatched right now are doing all that they can. There is just no plan in place to rescue 10,000 people. Perhaps because they assumed that an evacuation order would be followed, perhaps they thought the levees would hold as they had for 40+ years.

Whatever the reasons, there are things happening there that cannot be excused. Were I to be there I would NOT be looting the jewlery store. I would NOT be looting the electronics store. I would NOT be firing a gun at a helicopter and I would NOT be swearing and giving the finger to a guy with a camera so he can broadcast me across the world.

Perhaps the next time there is an evacutation order they would be better off to explain "if you stay, we will not be able to rescue you because it will put us in danger, you are staying here at your own risk." Because that is pretty much how it is.

Have you scheduled your next blood donation today? I have.
  The Writing Mother
  posted at 6:52 PM


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