September 9, 2020


I owe a debt of gratitude to women of color. WOC. Gave me a view of womanhood. Of service. Of Motherhood. A view that was not bland. Not handmaiden. Not without passion and intensity.

A view that embraced my fierce mother bear nature. My Artemis intensity. And passionate dedication to humanity. I am a Pierre Teillard de Chardin advocate of the encircled, united world. He foresaw the dilemma we now face. One united globe. Embrace it. Or reject it. We are connected. The rest is up to us.

If you are following Matthew Marchetti and CrowdSource Rescue then you’ve been reading Matthew’s Hurricane Laura posts about seniors and people with disabilities in Louisiana nursing homes abandoned by those responsible for their protection and care.

People abandoned, left behind to suffer from heat, hunger and helpless humiliation. Unable to care for themselves in the most basic ways. Ground level failure of emergency management. Technically speaking. But really a failure of humanity.

When I worked in NOLA after Katrina I met a man, Rev. Wilfret McKee. He left a lasting impression on me. He abandoned no one and after the water finally receded he worked every day cleaning up homes of his congregation members. His neighbors. I asked him : “how is it your home wasn’t damaged?” Assuming his home was okay thereby allowing him to focus on others. Oh, he said, “only one room of my home is undamaged. I was flooded and I need a roof badly. But my purpose is to be here for my neighbors.” I asked, “What would you say to others in this kind of situation?” Rev. McKee said, “Well, it all comes down to what one human being is willing to do for another.”

Yes it does.

Matthew and the crew that rescued abandoned nursing home residents witnessed a significant and harsh reality: Leadership and courage have nothing to do with position, role or title.

Over the years I’ve learned to separate the careerists and the leeches from the purpose driven folks who are always there. Brave people working alongside those squatting safely in their roles, hiding from discomfort. Not willing to risk anything.

How to identify the good folks in a disaster arena: (in any arena) —1. They have mission clarity and focus. They can quickly clear their field of vision, focus and persist until resolution.2. Nothing stops them when something important is at stake. They expect obstacles, including people actively obstructing them and undermining their efforts. They don’t stop because others say “you’re wasting your time” or “it’s too big” or “you can’t change anything anyway”. Or, “It’s not your responsibility.”3. They make use of what they have in the arena. Supplies. Resources. Strengths. Whatever is there. They never whine about what they don’t have. They’re not reckless with resources including their own lives.4. They do the right thing, not the rule thing. Every time. It’s not even a quandary. They don’t look for cover.

They are governed by principles not position and carry their code inside. Their actions are guided by that code. Not a policy manual.6. They are fundamentally humanistic. In other words, they value every human being and are willing to be highly uncomfortable and risk a great deal to prevent unnecessary loss suffering of others.

I wrote this for me and maybe for you too.

© Angela Blanchard

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