A Group of People

Thoughts on Joplin

In joplin on May 25, 2011 at 7:21 pm

By @gunnarsimonsen

I can’t close my eyes and make it go away sings Bono in the epic U2 classic Sunday Bloody Sunday. Though the song is about something else, I find it ironic that it blasts my computer speakers as I sit down and begin to articulate that which I feel about these rash of tornadoes that have struck the Mid West part of the United States.

As I survey the pictures, read the tweets, and watch the videos, I do wish that I could close my eyes and make it go away for the sake of every last person effected by this tragedy. Ironically the song before it on Pandora was “It’s the end of the world as we know it” by REM.

In a week where some of the top TV shows air their finals like Dancing with the Stars and American Idol, suddenly, these finales take on much different meanings.

Either they become something not so important anymore or a place of relief and refuge to the one trying to block such shock and tragedy from their mind.

Whichever the case, watching the events unfold in Joplin before my eyes leave me with no words powerful enough to describe that which they are seeing other than the words penned by singer/songwriter Brooke Fraser in her song Albertine… “I have seen, now I am responsible.”

We may live thousands of miles from Joplin, but kid yourself not, if you have seen, you are now… responsible.

Responsible to be prepared.

Responsible to let those around you know how much you love them.

Responsible to reach out and lend a helping hand to those around you.

Responsible to make your moments… make a difference.

Responsible to do one to others, as you would have others do unto you.

Coming from a weekend where some predicted the end, we know this… no one knows the day or hour or minute. In this, I find it a sobering reminder that this moment we share right now is all we have.

What will we do with it?

May God be with all of those impacted by these tragic tornadoes. May God be with each of us as we decide how to spend our next moment.

  1. One of the big needs are clothes for plus size people. One of my friends there let me know of this need. Clothes larger than 2x are not donated and are difficult to obtain in emergency situations. Things we take for granted become overwhelming challenges so quickly.

  2. Lana, thank you so much for the insight. Is there a specific organization we should point people towards to make this type of donation? Thanks.

  3. Gunnar, your article was so well written. it is easy to sit in our comfy chairs watching tragedy unfold in other parts of the country (or around the world) and think to ourselves “ohhhh that’s terrible”. And yet so often it doesn’t really impact us. Sure some may donate money (or other items) but many won’t…. I sometimes find myself getting frustrated that I don’t have the means (money) nor (really) the time to donate to help organizations that are helping people struck by tragedy.

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