Taking Time to Reflect on Hurricane Harvey

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If you’ve been following the news, you’ve surely heard of the devastating hurricane that rampaged it’s way through Texas these past few days, causing mass amounts of flooding and destruction, seemingly out of nowhere. Since I live in Texas, I felt some of the effects of the insane storm, including crazy floods, winds, and never ending rain. It’s been rough scrolling through social media, seeing friends and family of mine share photos of local businesses that are now submerged under water and seeing photo after photo of how bad Houston and surrounding areas were really devastated by this “800 year storm”.

What caught a lot of people off guard was the fact that this storm came seemingly out of nowhere, and that the city of Houston, who has seen it’s share of storms and floods, was unable to cope with the effects of Harvey. On the bright side, if there is one, is that only five lives were lost in this natural disaster, and all of them were from people perishing within their automobiles. In terms of human life and the good of humanity, Harvey has actually been a solid way for this country to stop being divided for a week, as people from all sides of the political spectrum have come together to help one another and aid in the rescue and rebuilding process of this crazy storm. It’s really inspiring to see people help in all sorts of ways, whether it’s photos of heroic people risking their own lives to save others, celebrities like J.J. Watt raising hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to help support those affected, or even just looking at the long list of private and public charities and organizations that have taken part in relief.

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The fact of the matter is, Houston is a very important city in the grand scale of things. Plenty of Fortune 500 companies and big oil businesses are stationed in Texas’ largest city, and the intense floods and overall destruction means that we’ll see an appreciable impact on our economy because of it. It’s strange to think that such an important city would be situated in such a dangerous region, often fraught with natural disasters and horrible weather. Whatever the case, while it’s great that the lost of life in this disaster was minimal, the economic damage is severe, and it’ll be worth watching impressionable economic figures like gas prices and stocks in the upcoming weeks/months. Importantly, President Trump and his wife are coming to Texas in the upcoming days to oversee the reconstruction, and hopefully he can use this event as a platform and a basis to work on improving our national infrastructure like he promised.

No matter how much money is poured into the city, it’s going to take a lot more than cash to fix all the damage done. For too long, we’ve been a fractured nation, divided over petty and artificial social squabbles instead of actual pressing matters. While it’s horrible, disasters and tragic events are the only things that manage to pull people together, and Hurricane Harvey was no exception. The events in Charlottesville weeks ago caused the general public to react in a very extreme manner, leading to an even deeper cultural split that worried me to no end. The reaction to the hurricane however has been a more relieving one, as I’ve seen the general populace turn on media figures and influencers who tried to blame the disaster on Trump or somehow imply that Texans deserve less sympathy because of their political leanings. While it isn’t healthy that it took a hurricane to cause our nation to meet in the middle for once, it’s a start. The eyes of the world will be on Trump as he leads the rebuilding effort forward, coinciding perfectly with universities in Texas starting classes. Just days ago, these same students were huddled up with their families, praying that their house wouldn’t be destroyed and that the roads would stop flooding so they could buy supplies. Now, they’re going to be taking courses where professors teach them that capitalism is evil, White men are to blame for everything, and that Trump should be impeached. These are strange times we live in, make sure you not only stay safe, but try to be a good influence on others. Now more than ever we need good people in the world. 

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