Why only in disaster?

When I was younger, I used to go on a lot of wilderness trips, often involving white water canoeing and rafting. The rafting portion of the trips was usually involving a professional rafting company, which meant that there would be people along who were not part of the group I was in. On one of these trips, we had an accident which involved getting one of our people out of the region and into a hospital … in backboard. This meant that a large group of people, many of whom did not really know each other, had to pull together and work as a unit to ensure EVERYBODY’s safety, and to ensure the injured party got treatment as quickly as possible. We pulled it off, with minimal issues, and the few that there were were due to people being TOO ready to help and not being careful enough for themselves.

It was a beautiful sight to behold (and fortunately the injury turned out to be more of a panic situation than an actual injury). However, when we all got back to the camp that night (except for those at the hospital), the camaraderie and cooperation that was evident before disappeared. Those in my group still did what needed to be done and kept each other’s spirits up. But one other group of people who did what needed to be done DURING the emergency started grumbling about how their trip was cut short, and demanding some sort of recompense for it.

Why am I bringing this up?

One of the biggest challenges facing humanity today is the belief that we are so different so that we simple CAN’T get along. When philosophies and thought patterns, even ways of life are so very varied we convince ourselves that there is no way we can easily mesh with someone with so many disparate ideas. Ironically, we have proved the falsity of this belief time and time again, yet still don’t see the possibility of cooperation. EVERY time there is a significant emergency in the world, especially those for natural disasters, humans from all over; from all sorts of backgrounds and belief systems, work together to come to the aid of the afflicted. The only time this does not automatically happen is when the disaster is caused by man. Then politics and points of view hinder again. The truth is that if we get our own minds out of the picture, we find that we are all pretty much in harmony.

heartsWe all know what is right; what needs to be done, and act on it together when time is of the essence, and we do it without thinking and questioning. It is at such times that the best of human spirit shines through. My question is, since we have proven time and again that not only CAN we get along, but that we do it well … why do we only do it in the times that we have no choice if we want to be true to our conscience? Why do we not acknowledge that conflict is NOT human nature, but rather human choice? Is it really so hard to admit that the only differences between us are those we create? Next time we come across a difference in opinion as how to approach difficult situations, maybe, before we start getting aggressive against those who disagree with us, we should ask ourselves what the disagreement is REALLY about. Pride is NOT a good guide for human interaction.

Believe it or not, we ALL share the same heart.