Hurrican Katrina: Values after a "Whoosh!"

What defines you as a person? To what do you connect your self-esteem? I'm sure that among the victims of Hurricane Katrina, a lot of reshuffling of values have taken place.

"Who are you, again?"

"I'm the director of the Institute of Southern Louisiana Culture." WHOOSH! Not anymore, you're not!

"I live in a fancy bungalow on a beautiful street right near the levee." WHOOSH! What levee? What bungalow?

"My friends and family are gathered around me." WHOOSH! Not anymore. They live in five different states.

"Even my mother lives nearby, in a nursing home." WHOOSH! She didn't survive the flood.

"I don't need a car, because everywhere I want to go is within walking distance or a short cab ride." WHOOSH! You mean a boat ride.

"For the past three years, I've been gathering material for my next book: official antebellum documents, old letters, certificates of manumission, that kind of stuff." WHOOSH!

The Master warns us again and again to be on our guard against all kinds of greed, for, he says, "A person's life does not consist in the abundance of his [or her] possessions" (Luke 12:15).

If you don't live in southern Louisiana, Mississippi, or Alabama, maybe this hasn't literally happened to you, but perhaps you can sort through what you value as you vicariously identify with Katrina's victims.

What makes you who you are? Strip away your position and your possessions; remove your residence, your relatives, and your relationships; let your automobiles disappear along with your life's work, and what is left?

"I guess, all that's left is me. I'm all I would have."

Exactly! What is your character? Do you have something called integrity, which I would define as an internal unity of purpose and conduct?

What do you most value right now? Would it be the same after a WHOOSH!?

Steve Singleton,

« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »

» Post a Comment