Remember- You can donate to the Red Cross via redcross.com or by texting REDCROSS to 90999.
I'm not one of those affected. The soon to be infamous May 20th tornado crossed a block south of my sister's High School, and stopped just short of hitting my home across Draper Lake. Meanwhile, I was taking a mid-day nap, and slept through the whole thing. All I can do is give thanks for my dumb luck.
Many of those who live in Moore can't be grateful for their dumb luck. They might have lost their car, their home, or a loved one. It's hard to know exactly what those people feel right now. There's no scapegoat, no enemy to blame. It was simply a case of being at the wrong place during the wrong time.
The mood in Oklahoma City is understandably bleak right now, as everybody deals with the tragedy in their own way. Some pray. Some scramble to find loved ones. Some donate. Some go to provide physical help. All of them are perfectly valid and helpful ways to cope, and I hope that everybody can find their own way to make peace.
However, as I sit here today, I can't help but feel extremely grateful. One of the deadliest tornadoes in the history of the world only claimed a fraction of how many people died per day during World War II. Modern technology and the tireless work of meteorologists and public servants saved countless lives yesterday. I can only imagine how devastating this tornado could have been if there weren't huge teams of people working to ensure our safety.
I also can't help but thinking of people on this earth who aren't so lucky. People who were unfortunate enough to be born into a warzone. Or a modern-day concentration camp. Or in a place that isn't nearly developed enough to deal with a natural disaster.
I'm not here to guilt anybody, nor am I here to make light of the situation. But as we all honor the dead and pick up the pieces from this devastating event, I hope that we can put it into perspective. This tragedy shouldn't be about playing the blame game, or gawking at graphic videos of dead bodies. It should be an appreciation. Not only for what we're so lucky to have ourselves, but for those around us. Those who dedicate their lives to making things as easy as possible for those who have lost so much.
I think Mr. Rogers put it best:
Keep it real, everybody. And don't forget to smile.