Hurricane Harvey reminded us of one thing: we are human. We do not have control over anything other than what we choose to do with this body. We are powerless against nature, but powerful in our will to help others. I’ve seen a lot of reports from people who’ve never stepped foot in Texas, much less Houston. They say how we reacted in time of devastation is inspiring. Some criticize the lack of evacuation plans, our officials, and the President. To the latter I say shut up; you’re missing the bigger, brighter picture.
What’s happening in Texas is why I still believe in America—and I’m not talking about white people helping black people, black people helping white people. I’m talking about humans helping humans just because they are human. So to the rest of the world who says this is what America is: I say they are right, but Texas has never, at its heart, been any different. This is the reason Texans have always voiced their love for their state—for their city. This love for our neighbors isn’t new—it’s just making headlines because of a disastrous situation.
For me, I thought Harvey would hit us with a few days of rain and knock our electricity out. I thought the flooding would be the same as the flood we had in May of 2016. I thought there would be a lot of inconvenience added to a lot of peoples lives. But I didn’t expect this—even with the warnings that it would be catastrophic.
But we’re Houstonians. But we’re Texans. We are strong. We make jokes in the wake of devastation. We invite our neighbors into our homes. We jump on a boat to rescue people who have just lost everything. And when we don’t have a boat, we use a canoe.
This is who we are. We help our fellow man—always—a hurricane didn’t create that.
People will always be different, think different, and have different beliefs, but we only care in the public sphere. When we see humanity in need, we fill it. This honestly shouldn’t be surprising.
My house is dry. My brother’s is dry. My best friend’s is dry. We are blessed beyond compare. Houston is underwater, but our heart is still beating. Our humanity is still intact. When we say we are Houston strong, we mean it.
We give our hands to the ones in need and we gratefully except help from others. Not only have Texans shown their strength, so has every cop, every firefighter, every person with a boat, and every person that came from another place to help.
We might not agree with people on issues, but we see the human, not the ideology.
This is our state, our city, and our people. This is us.