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Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

Town's response is commendable

Sunday, May 9, 2010

You can't help but make some comparisons between the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the billion dollar flash floods that ravaged Nashville last weekends.

New Orleans had at least some warning of the impending hurricane while Nashville was hit harder and sooner than weather experts had predicted.

Both communities lost lives and precious properties and both will show scars from nature's wrath for decades.

Yet there are differences and they should be evident to everyone. Unless I have missed it, Nashville has had no looting, no shootings. Neighbors are helping neighbors. Though the federal and state government will undoubtedly be called to help with the massive financial hit in Nashville, community organizers have not flocked to Nashville to point out the lack of government assistance response.

Maybe it's the character of Nashville as a Southern town to display old-fashioned Southern hospitality. And that extends to helping your neighbor and ample amount of self-reliance.

New Orleans - on the other hand - is a dependent city. The first response during Katrina was to quickly point a finger of blame at anyone and everyone for the devastation that Mother Nature brought their way. I have heard no such cries from Nashville.

Granted, the comparisons are not accurate in many ways. But the reaction from the citizenry has been starkly different.

Don't start thinking that this is a racial comparison. Or a political comparison. It is not. It's simply a comparison of how two large communities face devastating circumstances. It is a cultural comparison between two large communities on how they react in the worst of times.

We all need to take a lesson from both communities. Adversity is part of life. That much is certain. What is uncertain is how the population will react to that adversity.

In our own small way, Sikeston area residents faced a massive ice storm a couple of years ago and we can be proud of how our community reacted. There were countless stories of neighbors helping neighbors or even strangers.

As disappointing as it was to watch New Orleans unravel, it has been equally impressive watching the positive shared response from Nashville.



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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen