Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More Responsibility

Over the past couple of days I have read and seen many stories on local news and on national news sites about Katrina victims and their plight. I have a great deal of empathy for those individuals and could not imagine having to live through the life changing ordeal that they have.

That said, you don't often hear of those individuals who have, through their own hard work and perserverance, rebuilt their lives and moved on to continue living successful lives. You only hear of those individuals that are complaining that the government, often the federal government, is not doing enough for them. Do you see the difference in the two individuals (or groups) that I just described? Some, "through their own hard work and perserverance", others relying on the government.

I have also heard members of our government wondering why our President cannot push the federal dollars that have been allocated through the state and down to the local levels. Pardon my naivete but once the federal dollars make it to the state level shouldn't it be the state's responsibility to see that they are allocated to the local level?

There are individuals on news programs blaming the feds for not having a development plan for New Orleans, which is preventing some houses from being rebuilt by residents that are ready to rebuild. I applaud homeowners that are ready and willing to rebuild their residences and return to the way of life that they had before the devastation of Katrina and Rita but, again, isn't it the local government's responsibility to develop a plan for the city's future?

Most certainly there were many shortcomings in the federal government's response to the Katrina and Rita disasters. I would offer, though, that the majority of the responsibility, and therefore the blame, lies on state and local goverments for their failure to implement plans of action to get their local residents out.

The attitude that most rang a bell with me was on the Spike Lee documentary on HBO about Katrina. (I think this is where it was. If not, I apologize to all who read this.) A women stated that she was told that if she and her family stayed and rode out the storm that there would be no support from the government and there would be no one to bail her out. She said that she accepted this but still couldn't believe that it took someone as long as it did to come and rescue her.

If you have the warning and make a conscious decision not to heed it, it's your problem, not mine. Accept the responsibility for your actions/decisions. You reap the rewards and suffer the consequences of your actions/decisions. Live your life with that in mind and the opportunities for success are more likely to come. It takes hard work but the reward is well worth it.

I'll get off my soapbox now.

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