A Tale Of Two Characters

Even as my column last week was spun by the unfortunate arrival of Hurricane Florence to our area with all of the disruptive and even detrimental effect that it unleashed upon us, my article today is likewise a result of the costly storm.
As the heading clearly implies, it is an account of two human characters that almost always come out in the time of adversity and crisis. History records that even in the time of conflict and war, these two attributes of man’s nature (that are contrary and diametrically opposed to one another) will reveal themselves through people.
Both heroes and cowards, patriots and traitors, as well as good neighbors and criminals seem to always appear on the scene in the time of conflict, crisis, and distress. Perhaps for every Nathan Hale, there is a Benedict Arnold lurking in the shadows with a treacherous scheme. For every Simon Peter, there is a Judas Iscariot who is willing to betray his master for thirty pieces of silver. This is just the way things are and have always been since the fall of man.
During the recent storm, there were good folk and bad folk and good neighbors and criminals who used the power outage as an opportunity to break in businesses and houses. A convenience store in the Newtown Community was broken into during the power outage. Some criminals came down through the top of the store and burglarized it. A business on Main Street that sells firearms was also burglarized. This demented and evil side of humanity seems to always show its face during troublesome times when people are hurting and very vulnerable. Corporately speaking, man is bipolar with a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde complex that contradicts and disdains one another.
Now that I have hopefully established this truth and cited and commented on the evil side of our dual nature as a species, I will dedicate the remainder of my column today considering and commending the good side of man’s bipolarity that was displayed during the storm and its aftermath. There were good Samaritans that came a long, long way to aid in the rescue effort of many people who otherwise would have been unable to get out of harm’s way due to the flooding.
Special thanks must be given to the men of the Cajun Navy who brought their boats from as far away as Texas and Louisiana and rescued many in North and South Carolina.
Along with some other boat owners from the area who volunteered their time and equipment, these men represent the good that seem to come out of many when people are in dire need and a state of distress.
They spring into action (without salary) when and wherever people are in trouble due to flooding. Then how can we forget or omit to cite the effort of the many, both local and from beyond our region and state, who came in to bring food and water to hundreds of people who were forced out of their homes because of flooding. These good Samaritans did what they did not because they were getting paid to do it. They were moved by compassion and a labor of love. It was a matter of people helping people and the spirit of human kindness that caused them to do unto others as they would desire others to do unto them, if the tables were turned.
In this age of greed, selfishness, and ingratitude, it is good to know that there are still some merciful, generous, and very considerate people who can think about the needs and well-being of others, especially in a time of crisis and distress. The majority of these people who volunteered their time, labor, boats, and other types of vehicles and equipment were undoubtedly people of faith with Judeo-Christian convictions and values.
Thank God that there are people who do more than just talk about brotherly love and being a good neighbor. There are people who are willing to put their love and faith into action and good deeds.
Perhaps nothing can bring out the best in us like a time of distress, adversity, and an emergency that requires our urgent help. In my estimation, we are more like God and even more human when we can reach out to help pull someone out of harm’s way and out of the gutter of despair and disaster. Sometimes, when people are hurting and destitute, we must be willing to come out of our comfort zones, our sanctuary cities and gated communities to become common laborers in an organized and collected effort to relieve and rescue them.
Hurricane Florence not only released the evil that dwells in the human species of our area, thus causing many to commit acts of burglary and worse, but it also allowed good Samaritans to be moved to acts of compassion and kindness due to the hardship that the storm unleashed upon many. In this tale of two characters, these unselfish and courageous people were the heroes of this true drama.
They were the ones who turned defeat into victory, despondency into hope, and perhaps greatest of all, they demonstrated to people who were desperate and in distress that there were people who still cared about them.
May God give recovery to the many people who have lost so much and bless those who reached out to help them in their time of great need.