The wind is cool and the sun (you heard me correctly there was some sun, it wasn’t some hallucination or abolition on my part) was warm to my face, first sun I have had in a while too, I mean years. I was waiting for the boss to get home and hoping she had been ok today, as she has such a tough job from an emotional toll point of view, supporting people with mental health problems related to pregnancy, am sure it is called a ‘perinatal’ service. All I know is some weeks she is totally drained and then has me to cope with, hence the title My Angel. As I feel the rare natural warmth of the sun, as opposed to radiators blasting out heat in blinking mid-May for goodness sake, I can’t help but think about that Annie Lenox and Eurhythmics song, “here comes the rain again”, as I see huge storm clouds gathering. I naturally think how petty and ridiculous when one remembers the tornado that has killed many, torn apart the town of Moore but by so doing bringing the people together to overcome. One story I recalled from the news was a bleeding mud soaked survivor of the 200 mile per hour winds, 2 miles wide, being told to hang on as an ambulance was on its way. he was dripping wet, blood all over his front and back from a cut to the head and face, but refused the offer as a stranger in a brand new car said he would take the guy to hospital, the injured man stating, “use the ambulance for someone worse off”. The stranger not caring at all of the mess his car would be left in by this bedraggled and bleeding stranger.
It is something I have noticed about the Americans, when true crisis hits a community, whether it is a terrorist bomb at a marathon, the shooting of innocent children at a school by a mad man, a storm devastating a town in midwinter and mid presidential election, or a hurricane named after my daughter (Katrina – hmm fits somehow too) flooding an entire city, the locals in the US of A always pull together in a remarkable show of humanity, and I fear more so than in this country. So after one of the longest sentences I have ever written, what is it about the Americans that makes them want to bear arms and kill anything that moves in a wood, proportionally growing more serial killers on earth, yet when hell is unleashed they all pull together to become one caring unit of mutual support. Through this unit I have seen them time and again support each other, help each other, recover together and against all the odds and everything Mother Nature has to offer, rebuild a new, better, stronger, more unified community than ever.
Perhaps the answer lies in their history as they had to pull together to throw off the shackles of the English, despite being often out gunned (hence the right to bear arms – pity that’s 200 years out of date), or is it the way they came together shoulder to shoulder to repel the advances of the Japanese in WWII? But this was also seen in London during the blitz and I don’t feel or see the same level of community spirit in the UK any more. Or am I being too critical of the UK communities, after all they came together as one during the Blitz as mentioned and most recently in Wales when a whole community mobilized to try and find little April Jones (I still have a pink ribbon on my keys so I never forget her, until her body is found and she is laid to rest properly for the sake of her family). I do feel it is different in this the UK at the moment, as there seems to be an oppression hanging heavy from the recession still and everyone is looking after number one. The Conservatives go on about the ‘big society’ but from what I can see they have crushed community spirit.
And I think this is what is in the American psyche, when the chips are down and hell has been unleashed upon a community, then all political or community internal differences are put aside and all come as one to face what needs to be done. I remember that image when all those people had been caught up in 9/11 and as the dust started to settle a police chief even said “look even our colour is put aside” as everyone was coated in pale grey dust, and everyone was helping out. The same determination has been seen in Moore, colour, race, politics, religion, everything that you can think of that separates us as humans into sub sects and sub groups of sub groups, all put aside – totally amazing and is absolutely to the max in America. The people join with their State Government, which joins with the President’s Government, all united to force Mother Nature to come to heal, sort out the immediate needs of food, fluid, healthcare, deliver shelter and foundations to rebuild in the medium term, and in the long term rebuild the whole community and search for new ways of preventing such devastation or building improved early warning systems. I wasn’t aware but people only had 15 minutes to get to a shelter – impossible for some as we saw. So yes part of the long term will be the Government and the community looking for answers to prevent the same level of damage again, prevent the same level of deaths.
And what can we do in the UK? Well we can learn from their community spirit and togetherness, hell I don’t even know my neighbours or those living on my street. We can build on their example and pray for them too, but for me it just makes me think of how much we have lost. In WWII it was there, the whole country came together, so where has it gone, why has it been suppressed – perhaps I am not giving England the credit it deserves, but do you know everyone on your street, in 1930’s and 1940’s people actually did. Do you socialize with your neighbours? I don’t, and most of the people I know don’t, most don’t even know their neighbours – is this the ‘norm’ now in England? So yes we can be empathetic to what has occurred in Moore and keep those people in our prayers, but for me it is what we have to learn in the UK from their response across the ‘Pond’, and it would seem there is a lot we can learn from them. But we have our own example to follow, we have the town’s reaction to little April Jones murder, where everyone turned out to sear for her. This is the template our communities, our country and our nation needs to copy to get through the recession and to prevent ‘extremists’ corrupting and brain washing our young people. Coming together will bring a new dawn and we will get through this awful period in our history on so many levels. We must see the new sunshine and pull together to support each other, become one great nation again.
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