Let's take a walk through a brand new day.
Order among Chaos
As Hurricane Willa makes landfall near the resort towns on the Mexican Riviera, I am reminded of the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael in Georgia and Florida. So many friends were affected by power outages, fallen trees, destroyed crops, and mangled houses. But, thankfully, no friends or family lost lives. As I reflect on that powerful storm and my experience, I want to share my observation as I outran the hurricane by going west.
My cousin and I had planned a trip which was to begin on the Florida Panhandle and end in Baton Rouge. We realized on the day before we were to leave that Hurricane Michael was at sea and was possibly headed directly to the area where we planned to spend part of our vacation. Undeterred, we decided to go forth with our plans and keep tabs on mighty Michael. As luck would have it, Michael decided he’d like to land in the exact same spot we were to start our trip. Stopping at the hotel where we were to spend our first night, we were informed that voluntary evacuation of PCB was to start at 6am the next morning. The storm was still days away from landfall, but we made the decision not to wait until 6am. We decided to forgo our nights stay and head west away from the storm. As we turned onto the main highway, we realized that we were not the only ones who made that decision.
Since we were traveling west for hundreds of miles, we knew that our first stop needed to be a gas station to fill the tank. That became a mission. As we traveled westward with the other folks heading out prior to the evacuation, everyone had the same thought…get gas. We traveled for many miles and gas was already out all along the panhandle. After driving for an hour or so, we finally came upon a gas station with fuel. We quickly turned in and got in line behind all the other cars. Cars and trucks were coming at the fuel pumps from four different directions! Imagine an X with two rows of 4 four fuel pumps in the middle of that X. Immediately, I knew that chaos was about to occur. I could envision cars rushing the pump, people blocking each other out, smaller cars zipping around trucks and larger cars, and anger exploding from harried travelers.
But, you know what happened? None of the above. I was absolutely amazed that everyone stayed in line on their side of the imaginary X, made way for those refueling to back in or turn around, and waited patiently for their turn! No one directed traffic and there were no orange cones encouraging drivers to stay in their lane. Hundreds of people in long lines of cars regulated themselves and made a situation that could have been utter chaos into one of order and kindness. We all waited. We got our gas. We headed back out onto the road. No chaos.
It was a reminder for me: Most people are good, kind, and caring……even in times of stress and pending destruction. Yes, Luke Bryan, I believe most people are good.