|Tragedy has a way of sifting people... and desperation adds an
additional filter to separate the best in people from the worst. A prime example is the
recent destructive force of Hurricane Katrina.
Compare the situations of
Biloxi, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana. As the storm came towards the coastline,
the residents of New Orleans gave a figurative sigh of relief as they learned Katrina had
moved to the east, at the same time that the residents in Biloxi braced themselves to
receive the brunt of the storm. Katrina was viscous as she pounded three states.
When the rain subsided and people began to survey the damage, they were shocked
and dismayed in Mississippi, and in Louisiana they were thankful that they had been spared
the worst. Everything changed for them overnight when canals, retaining walls and levees
began failing. The city was flooded and the people were devastated.
Many in New Orleans had evacuated their homes to ride out the storm at the
Superdome, and now found they were cut off from outside help. People from all over the
city were trying to get to shelters, many going to the Convention Center as directed by
The storm displaced over 1.5 million people from their homes. Many of the people
who had moved to evacuation points were not evacuated right away. There were no facilites
for food, water, or waste. Trash and sewage piled up, and emotions ran high as no relief
was in sight.
The lack of self-control that ensued was horrifying! There were reports of
looting, beatings, rape, murder, and even shooting at the very rescue workers who were
trying to bring food and water, and get people evacuated. It became a mob mentality, and
some innocent people were just caught in the middle.
The nation looked on feeling helpless. The truly sad part is that every bit of
violence and mayhem could have been avoided. It definitely was making a terrible situation
worse. If even a fraction of these people had been raised to control themselves no matter
what the situation around them, they could have worked together and supported each other.
Some groups did manage to control themselves better than others. It could be due
to a higher moral standard, or possibly they just weren't as desperate. In some places in
Mississippi the devastation was just as bad, but we heard no reports of the kind that came
out of New Orleans.
The best and the worst in people... tragedy and destruction bring them out, and
we saw prime examples of both from this disaster.
Desperation can do very bad things to people who are not trained to control
themselves. The fact of the matter is that we do not know what tomorrow will bring, but we
can control the manner in which we deal with what life brings us.
The choice is yours... get training on how to stay in control, and teach your
children these same principles, or just wait and see which way the wind blows your
emotions... or the emotions of those uncontrolled people around you.
We recommend The Peaceful Solution Character Education Program to young and old
alike. If it can make a difference to school age children and even prisoners... it can
make a difference to you. With training there is hope.
Character Education News
Main Office and Contact Site
for The Peaceful Solution Character Education Program:
This article is © 2005 Character Education News. It may be reprinted online and in
print publications only if this entire statement including the following URL is included
and the entire text is used unaltered. Websites wanting to use this article must make the
URL a link. http://www.charactereducationnews.com