The silver lining of Harvey's dark clouds

It’s been said that "every cloud has a silver lining."  I've always been either a) too cynical or b) to much of a "realist" to believe that.  Some clouds bring nothing but rain and damp.

The "rain" that is Harvey, however, may be the exception.  For it, for all its horrors, may indeed have a silver lining.  Or even one made of solid gold.

That's because of the way it is changing our focus.  Or perhaps more accurately, it is allowing us to actually focus – both our eyes and our minds – on the true nature of America and its people.

Imperfect we are – as individuals and as a people.  But what we are being helped – forced? – to again see is that we are just that: a people.  And oh, what a people we are!

Look at the way we the people are reacting to the horrors of Harvey, and certain wonderful truths are born out.

Wealth is not what matters to us.

Race is not what matters to us.

What does matter is the welfare of our neighbors.  And in this case – with a disaster this large – there is the simple but vital realization that our neighbors are everywhere. Yes, even halfway across this massive continent.

Strangers form a human chain to rescue a stranded motorist (Photo: ABC13 Houston).

Last month – before the test that is Harvey was even on the horizon (or mine, at least) – I wrote a blog piece, "That America we knew and loved? It's still here."  How true that has proved to be!

If we Americans can work through this disaster together – and we are doing that! – if we can start to differentiate between bogus stories of hate and our real attributes of love and unselfishness, we will be healed.

No, the media will not encourage that.  But what we need to do – and what we will do – is far greater than the media.

It is as great as we are.  We Americans.  United.  A single people doing what we can with a single purpose.

If that – an again united America – is not a silver lining, or a gold one, what is?