Houstonians: Resilience Personified

It is with great sadness that I’ve seen the images and hear the stories of so much devastation in Houston, and I had a chance to see some of the damage first-hand last week. It’s truly catastrophic for so many.   Street after street reveal houses that have not flooded in the past but now all their belongings along with sheetrock, carpet, and furniture are piled high on the curb.

Yet as the storm has passed, silver linings have emerged. As in all of life, tribulation can often bring out the kindness, strength, and resilience many people possess. And Harvey’s attack on Houston proves this to be true.

I was doing computer work in one of my favorite coffee places in Houston, The Black Hole. (Great coffee with a wonderful Bohemian edge.) As I observed the people around me, I realized that many of them were working to address hurricane damage issues. It seemed that one group was from out-of-town and was focused on helping a family member. Another person was talking with an insurance adjuster. And someone else seemed to be coordinating the relief effort.  All of them quietly going about the business of putting their lives back together.

There are the more notable examples of JJ Watt and his foundation. He had hoped to raise $200,000; at this writing, he’s going to clear $30 million!  There are the thousands of unsung heroes who volunteered their time, boats and other resources to rescue people of all races, religious and political backgrounds.  At that moment in time, there was nothing that divided people; there was a common goal and leaders emerged.

These are striking examples of how unassuming, informal leaders will rise above the stress and anxiety of the moment to be the solution, the resource, and the calming presence in the face of great adversity.

Thank you to all the formal and informal leaders who have stepped up to the plate and are making an impact!