When in crisis, people revert to their highest level of training. We, by nature, cannot revert to what we do not know, what we have never practiced. Some people revert to blaming others. “The mayor should have evacuated Houston.” “Someone should have let residents know how critical the situation really was.” And, of course, their counterparts say, “You cannot evacuate that many people at once.” “So many more would have lost their lives on the Interstate out of gas or cars filling with water.” “There was not enough time for an effective evacuation.” What the situation always comes down to is that someone should have done something – the mayor, the president, the mega-evangelist, the citizens. Someone did not do something. Something needed to be done. Somehow, if someone had done something, the crisis would not be what it is…and all around you, you begin to see the depth of a person’s training when they are living in devastation. You see how they react when the most traumatic events of their lives are happening before their very eyes.
And I am not referring simply to Tropical Storm Harvey…I watched a dad lose his Division 1 scholarship athlete. I watched one of my favorite freshmen lose his big brother, and I know the family is beating themselves up. They are wondering what they could have done…how they could have saved him…
A girl who has eaten lunch in my classroom almost every day for two years attempted to take her own life, and I did not even know until she was back at school.
My sister spent her birthday sharing chocolates with her two year old in a hotel room because she could not go home…because the streets were undriveable (?…I’m quite sure the red underline indicates that undriveable is not a word.)
I have close family members so toxic, it takes weeks for me to recover from their visits. I literally have nothing left to say while they are here. I have resorted to the motto, “if you do not have anything nice to say, then do not say anything at all.” I resort to my highest level of training – learned long before my age entered into double digits.
I am surrounded by divorces, affairs, and bad marriages – unresolved and unresolvable wounds. We live in a world where families are damaged beyond repair, where people pretend to be hurt and in need of rescue so that they can steal and kill, where social media use is high and filtered word use is low. Hate is high. Love for one another is low. Blame is high. Acceptance is low. Everyone demands to know why? Why did this happen? How could this happen? They search for resolutions. They expect answers.
As a math teacher, let me explain to you something. Sometimes the answer is NO SOLUTION. Sometimes neither equation works. Sometimes you do a lot of work to reach your no solution. Sometimes, you get a number, but your number cannot work for your equation. Yes, I would have preferred no hurricane. Yes, I would have preferred no tropical storm, no cheating boyfriends, no toxic siblings, no suicidal students, no “back-stabbing” friends or co-workers…no hatred, no racism, no socio-economic division, no heartache, no headaches, no pain.
Yet, here we are…with devastation all around us…and no solution in sight. And we have resorted to our highest level of training.
I resort to silver linings.
My husband and I started dating and got married as a direct result of Hurricane Katrina. Hilton Hotels gave my sister complimentary chocolates to enjoy for her birthday during her evacuation. My student hugged me and told me that she is going to be fine. My nephew becomes a full-fledged member of this household on September 19. It appears that, even if for the moment, Harvey has erased racism for a small part of the world.
When the casualties of war are high, I start to appreciate small victories. It is how I cope. It is my highest level of training.
Silver linings, though, cannot be found by looking around. Looking around will leave us with a feeling of hopelessness. Looking around will have us drowning in the whys? and the whos? and the what ifs?
Silver linings are found on clouds in skies. So when you find yourself living in a NO SOLUTION situation, stop looking around.
“And we know that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28
Leave your email so that I can send hair care strategies straight to your inbox.