When hardship and tragedy happen, many will get stuck in the pain of the loss and suffering and are unable to see the good things happening all around them. As we learn about underinsured homeowners unable to cover costs to rebuild, about loss of crops, about uninsured renters living on the fringe, about landlords pushing rents up to cash in, about unemployment benefits running dry, the whole string of exponential casualties is long and tedious, practically relentless in crushing hope. But there is one great thing we all need to remember: we are still alive to get past it.
On Saturday, celebrities tied to Ventura County and those who just want to support the cause are coming together in a big way to ensure that the rough patches aren’t so terribly rough, raising money in the worst of times. With the benefit concert already sold out with a rather stunning lineup, it’s clear to see what can happen with people who truly care about those who are suffering. But in reality, there is a much bigger picture to see.
When it comes to rebuilding our lives after natural disasters such as the Thomas Fire, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma or floods and mudslides that rock our world, our strength in recovery is found in working together. Many of us have witnessed impressive outreach and collaboration in trying to ensure that life doesn’t simply remain in the ashes. We saw it with the #Venturastrong movement with so many individuals taking on leadership roles to help make the road back home feel a little less insane. And there is no real way to put into words how beautiful that was. But the journey is not over.
As we have all seen, it takes years to get back to normal, if that ever really occurs. There will be situations that trigger PTSD and enhance fears and uncertainty. Some will confront an onslaught of bad news about getting their lives back on track. But if we can see that there is a real support network all around us, if we can turn to each other, ask for help when we need it and be there to talk and give comfort despite our own struggles, we will get through this and be stronger for it. And that is a good thing to recognize when it comes to this tragedy — rebuilding our lives the best way we can together will make us into better people and a healthier community. Let’s not lose sight of where we have been and where we are headed. The future can be bright if we don’t lose sight of how hardships shape us into more resilient human beings who can return the favor to others in their time of need.