Whack Priorities

I am struck by the fact that as humans we have this profound tendency to have our priorities out of whack.

News reports show us there are 1,000’s of people struggling right now due to Hurricane Sandy. It appears many, many are lacking basic necessities and are in need of water, food, clothing, warmth and protection from the elements. Many are now homeless and have nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Many residents of devastated areas are feeling forgotten and very alone.

I cannot imagine how weary people must be and how beyond weary first responders must be as they scrape, struggle, provide and serve.

Yet the New York City Marathon will be run Sunday and I am bewildered by that decision. I “somewhat get” that the New York City Marathon brings money to the area and for that reason the show must go on. But isn’t there still much to be done NOW for the hurting?

The marathon is described as a big party, a celebration of sorts and an opportunity for those who have trained hard to achieve a long sought after goal. Is a goal for self really what those gathered in a place of such devastation should be focused on at this time?

The man hours and effort that goes into overseeing the New York Marathon is no doubt mind boggling. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use all those gifts, talents and man hours to solve the newly presented problems facing residents of the most effected boroughs of New York, and beyond.

Provide opportunities for those coming to the race to serve those in New York, not be a distraction from citizens in very real need.

I realize I don’t know all the facts, but I know people are hurting and feel forgotten and alone and that those lives and families should be the priority.

Maybe my view is too simplistic…but in times of crisis I think simplicity is needed.

I did hurricane relief after Hurricane Andrew and after Hurricane Katrina. My experience was that those affected by the storms wanted to matter to others. After Katrina when I knocked on doors to deliver meals the hands received the offering with gratitude, but the eyes and hearts just wanted me to hear their story and assure them that they mattered and they were not forgotten or alone.

I am saddened that man hours that could be used to assist and knock on doors, will instead will be spent on an event. I am concerned that those devastated by the storm  will be wounded more by this lack of action on their behalf than the ravages of Sandy.

Sadly, I wonder if running the race may be symbolic of man’s tendency to ignore the hurting all around us as we run our daily rat race – because we have our agenda already planned out.

It just seems too soon as we have not yet worked hard enough to bind or heal the wounds of the hurting.

I think I shall go read the story of the good Samaritan and ponder these thoughts a bit longer.

What do you think?


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