Can we get back to being self-sufficient?

I was watching a series on the Weather Channel called “When Weather Changed History” and this episode was discussing the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Now what does this have to do with being self sufficient? Let me explain.

Soon after the fire was put out, the mayor put the call out to the rest of the country for help in rebuilding the city. Soon help and materials were pouring in from the rest of the country and around the world. The citizens got together and started a building boom that not only rebuilt the four miles that were destroyed, but started the re-creation of the city that we know today.

Fast forward to 2005 and New Orleans. Hurricane Katrina has severely damaged the city. Despite the images of people being trapped on rooftops and in the Superdome and on the highways in the news, help and materials are slow to come into the city. Instead of people getting together and rebuilding the city, they want to wait on the Federal Government to come in and rescue them. Six years later, we have people who evacuated the city who have not returned and those who have returned have slowly rebuilt the city, which has not completely recovered.

Why did I use these two examples in how to rebuild a city and how not to rebuild? Because we as a people need to wean ourselves off of waiting for the government to come in and rescue us anytime we find ourselves in a messy situation. Granted, New Orleans was a special situation in that not only did the hurricane come in and caused damage, but when the levees failed that just added to the damage. The slow response from the Federal Government should have spurred us to say “We need help NOW, not just pretty words!” We need to get back to helping each other, not just after a disaster, but anytime we need help, from keeping our youth in school and out of gangs to helping our elders stay independent just as long as possible; and if they cannot remain independent, then making sure that they know that someone is looking out for them.

We have gotten away from the “Let me see what I can do” to “Let someone else do that, it’s not my job or concern”. We need to be concerned again for our people and be thankful for our ancestors and forefathers who marched and sometimes died so that we enjoy the freedoms that other Americans enjoy.


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  1. Elaine Henderson says:

    I think this is a wonderful example of what God meant when he said in his word that we must love our neighbor as ourself. thanks for sharing.

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