Much has been made, in recent days, of the attitudes of the evacuees from New Orleans. I have talked to many people in the shelters. Most have stories of grateful people who are thankful to be alive and truly astonished at the goodness and kindness of strangers who would put their lives on hold to help them recover from a personal disaster. Then there are the ingrates who, rather than being thankful for the help they are getting, are complaining that they aren't getting better. I'm sure we have all seen the email, that was purported "written" by a doctor who decries the greed and ingratitude of evacuees in the Houston area.
Well today, I have the most uplifting exchange with a couple of lovely ladies. The first was a young woman who was volunteering in a shelter in northern Louisiana. The second was a woman who was helping, as best as she could, from a distance. The young lady in Louisiana echoed the Houston account, which saddened her greatly as the people she was seeing this attitude out of were "her own". She was so angry at this attitude of ingrattitude that she was considering not going back. The other young woman, put herself in the situation and reminded the first that while the bad attitude was not acceptable, it is understandable given what they had all gone through. What struck me though, what should strike us ALL in the heart was the end of the email. She said:
"...do not take this on as a race issue. Attitudes come in all colours, and don't reflect you. I have met some pretty ungrateful and spoiled white people and don't feel they reflect me. I know it's hard because racism uses faulty logic to explain itself by clumping things together. One bad attitude from a black person and ALL black people are such and such. It's faulty logic of people trying to prove what they themselves believe. It's not logical. Attitudes come in equal share to all colours. It does not reflect race, it reflects the individual and the situation they are in."
I stopped and let that sink in. So much truth in so few words. How much better would this world be if we all remember that simple phrase - attitudes come in all colors. If we could all stop and put ourselves in one anothers shoes and remember that attitude comes in all colors.....