The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense

“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Goodness Of America In The Middle Of The Fire

Here's the Nonsense:  People everywhere are basically good and desire to help when tragedy strikes.  We shouldn't see America as anything unique.

Here's the Horse Sense:  America is very unique in the world.  When tragedy strikes, at home or abroad, Americans respond with generosity, care, and empathy unlike any nation on earth.  This is part of our goodness that makes us a very unique nation.

Chances are many of you have not heard about the devastating forest fires in Colorado.  One in particular, called the Black Forest Fire, is still burning as I write this and has caused the largest damage in Colorado history.  As I write this it is 45% contained, 480 homes have been destroyed, and about 25 square miles have burned.  The location is north of Colorado Springs and thousands of people have been evacuated.  My family is one of those that have been evacuated.  We had to get our horses out to a place that is sheltering those that have been evacuated.  Black Forest is horse country and a beautiful forested area of Colorado.  But for the past few years Colorado has suffered a severe drought and the entire forest here and elsewhere in the state is nothing but a tinderbox at great risk of this kind of tragedy.

So, what does all this have to do with goodness?  Everything.  America is a very unique country.  Unlike any other country in the world, Americans give and volunteer to help when there is tragedy here or abroad.  In recent days I have personally experienced that goodness.  From watching businesses open to help in ways that would not be expected by people who think business is only about profit to individual citizens opening their homes to take in those who have been evacuated.  Everywhere you turn there can be seen goodness on the part of Americans.

I went into a Walgreens to pick up a prescription and when the manager found out I was an evacuee he stopped me and offered free items to try to help.  He could see I was struggling with severe bloodshot eyes from the smoke and gave me eye drops.  He could hear the struggle I was having speaking and offered me bottled water to help clear my throat.  He essentially opened his store to my needs and refused to take payment for the things I needed.

Walmart (yes Walmart, that company that so many hate and accuse of being evil) has opened their parking lots to evacuees who want to camp out somewhere.  Home Depot has provided bottled water to the evacuees and firefighters.  The list goes on and on and this is no attempt to be comprehensive.  It is just a very small example of what is happening.

This is important because America is made up of people who help.  Sure, Americans are caught in a time when narcissism is rampant in our society, but somehow in the midst of all of it we still, at our core, reach out to help when people need it.  This is the core of America.  This is not government helping, this is citizens providing resources to help people in need.

What makes America great is its goodness.  It always has been the core reason we are the greatest nation in the history of the world.  Name another nation whose people do as much as we do.  There are none.  There are small, individual efforts that we see sometimes, but nothing on the level of Americans.

Our political leaders have, for the most part, forgotten this.  They think government is the answer to everything.  But what we know is that government is the problem, not the solution.  America is great because of the goodness of her people.  When Americans no longer have that goodness in them, then all hope for America is gone.  We need to encourage and build on our goodness.  When we do, we will see America start to bounce back from the problems we have today.

Below are many pictures that the Denver Post has taken from the fire where I live.  From the fire fighter who rescued an injured fawn to aircraft dropping water and slurry to knock down fire, from burning homes and forests to horses running free that were let go so they could try to get away from the fire, from people fighting to get their horses loaded to evacuate to animals being rescued, this is America.  And the acts of bravery, compassion, and goodwill are who we are.  Embrace it.  Spread it.  Be proud of it.