Why I Love My Sweet, Soggy Tennessee

By now the whole world knows that Nashville and surrounding areas have experienced what the Weather Service called a “once in a thousand years” event.

It’s like an inland hurricane where, in less than a 48-hour period, between 15 and 20 inches of rain have been dumped on our area.  And when you dump that much rain anywhere, flooding is bound to happen.

On the one hand, it’s really sad and heartbreaking to see people’s homes flooded, and businesses of the downtown area marred by such a climactic weather event.  But on the other hand, this reminds me one more time why I love my sweet, soggy Tennessee.

Everywhere, I am inspired by people who are taking the initiative to help. The phone lines have been buzzing, emails, texts, Twitters; and people are getting connected to people who need help.  First-responders are doing their usual, amazing job.  We’ve seen them do this before, and they are a sight to behold.  We thank them: all the firefighters, emergency personnel, all the first-responders who, without regard for personal well-being, throw themselves in the breach.

I’m also talking about the ordinary neighbor, the guy next door, the buddy who sits next to you at church; people who do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, without having to be asked.  I’ve been inspired to see people put their boats into these new rivers and risk their lives to go rescue their neighbors, their friends, their elderly relatives.  And this is just the beginning.

One of the reasons I love Tennessee is because Tennesseans help each other, watch each others’ backs.  We don’t wait for a government program, we don’t try to point the finger at who’s to blame.  I haven’t even heard too much finger-pointing at God, or why would He let this happen.  Just good people rolling up their sleeves and helping each other.  And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

This is a sad day in our city, but we’ll get over it.  Not only will we get over it, we’ll turn it into something beautiful, something better than it is today.  When you’re going through tragedy, be reminded that if you face it alone, you’re screwed.  But if you have people around you to help lift the load, a bad day and a terrible adversity can be turned into an advantage.

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