Take the longer view
The outpouring of genuine concern and generosity from Oceanside residents towards those suffering in Somalia, Haiti and other environmental hot spots is heartening, a true demonstration of shared humanity.
We have much that they don’t have in places like Somalia, such as abundant, cheap, high-quality food and the money to pay for it. They can probably do without the fancy cars, fashionable clothes, ocean views or unlimited golf.
We do have one other thing though that they don’t have that could make a crucial difference. That something is called time. We have it. They don’t. We have the luxury of stepping back and taking a view that is longer than tonight’s dinner or maybe next week’s.
Because Oceanside hasn’t been impacted by any of the environmental challenges faced by an increasing number of other areas of the globe, we can look at the issues in a larger context — and maybe take some steps to mitigate, if not avoid similar suffering here and elsewhere.
The aid we’ve given to other places has been generous and probably made a difference. When someone is bleeding they likely need a band-aid, so it’s unkind at best to denigrate the giving of those band-aids, even if they only address the symptoms of the problem.
The generosity is there, but what about next year’s disaster, or the next? They seem to run into each other these days, whether it’s the typhoon that rocked already reeling Japan last week or the drought and wildfires in Texas, it’s hard to figure out where one disaster leaves off and the next one begins. But we in Oceanside are clearly blessed and we would do well to use that blessing of time to figure out what, if anything, we can do to avoid these problems and then roll up our sleeves and get to work.