The last few months have been a time of real tragedy for our country. Hurricane Harvey dumped up to 50 inches of rain on Texas resulting in eighty-nine deaths and around $70 billion in damages. It is estimated that 80 percent of damaged homes did not have flood insurance. Hurricane Irma was an incredibly powerful storm that left ninety people dead. Maria killed fifty-two and devastated Puerto Rico. More recently we saw the worst mass shooting in our history result in the deaths of fifty-eight people in Las Vegas.
We live in an era of short news cycles. The shooting is still in the news but we hear nothing about the storms. An untold number of people are mourning the loss of loved ones, recovering from injuries or dealing with damaged or destroyed homes. They still need our help.
Last week I had a vivid reminder of one of these disasters. I was in Las Vegas. The area around the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign has been turned into a memorial complete with fifty-eight crosses, flowers and other items. Plywood covers the broken windows at Mandalay Bay. The concert venue is still an active crime scene. It is hard to witness that and not be moved.
We all have problems. Before feeling sorry for ourselves, we need to remember those who have it much worse.