That thing called “perspective”

According to Merriam-Webster, the noun perspective means, “a : the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed <places the issues in proper perspective>; also : point of view b : the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance”.

Earlier today, I found myself feeling a little frustrated with life. Fueled by hormones, I was borderline irritable and cranky, but I had to work. So, I sat on the couch and multi-tasked between two jobs and two different laptops. While I multi-tasked, I turned on my radio and tuned in to a local (though syndicated) talk show. I jockeyed between the two jobs, and I could feel myself becoming more anxious as I started focusing on my projects for the week. The more anxious I became, the less attentive I was to either job. Then I found myself distracted by the radio show, hearing the same audio clip played and replayed. The clip was recorded on May 22nd around 5:30 PM CDT in Joplin, Missouri, as a tornado tore through the city.

The video is raw, shocking and heart wrenching. Due to the power outage, there is little to see in the video. However, the audio alone is enough to convey what is taking place. As a mother, I found the cries of the children cut me to my core. Tears filled my eyes, as I listened to the children witness a horrific wrath of nature.

Then there are the pictures by the Associated Press. Pictures of the hospital (with a downed helicopter) and a neighborhood that no longer exists.

St. John's Hospital, Joplin, MO (Photo by Associated Press)
Neighborhood devastation in Joplin, MO, Photo by Associated Press

Shortly after hearing the audio and seeing the pictures, I received an email from a fellow blogger. Turns out, another fellow blogger lives in the Joplin, MO area. Though she is ‘okay’, her home and car were damaged.

Now, the above is personal. A need existed before the situation turned personal, but when something affects a (blogging) family member …. I’m unable to explain it, but it changes things.

The state of Missouri needs our attention; more specifically, the people of Joplin need our attention. In fact, we should not forget the devastation in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, etc, as they continue the clean-up. Though the outbreak of tornadoes in the southeast made headlines for several days, the killing of Osama Bin Laden turned our attention overseas. At the risk of sounding preachy (though not predicting a rapture), let’s turn our attention back to the United States of America. We have many Americans in need right now. Please donate: The American Red Cross. I did, and my perspective is more accurate.

Feature Photo by: Mark Schiefelbein

22 thoughts on “That thing called “perspective”

    1. The pictures and videos keep coming, too. Jackie. One minute your safe in your house – the next minute your safe, but your house (and everything in it) is gone. Wow.

  1. Horrifying. I was afraid to see how the video ended. Hopefully everyone is okay. Anderson Cooper tweeted about a teenager who was sucked out of his vehicle, but later found alive – thank God. The terror and devastation is so hard to imagine, even with the footage and photos. People keep complaining about the rain in New England. Get over it, folks. Keep things in perspective, for sure.

    1. I’ve asked the guy who promoted the video to keep us updated. If he does, I’ll pass it along. I become teary eyed every time I think of it. The death toll continues, and the recovery and rebuilding will take months, if not years. Awful, awful. Thanks for stopping by, AA (and thanks for caring!). ~ Lenore

  2. Thanks, Lenore, for this very important message, and for your donations…our friend in Joplin appreciates it!

    I was born in Ohio…we were fortunate never to actually be in a tornado, but I am still traumatized by wind. I remember sitting in our basement under a table as a six-year-old during a tornado warning, and watching as the sky outside went black as night at three in the afternoon, which was followed by giant hailstones…

    My heart goes out to all the folks affected by the recent storms in the United States…


    1. Wendy, thank you for pointing out one of our own was affected by the tragedy. Though it tugs at your emotions from the get -go, finding out it is personally makes the tug stronger.

      I’m not surprised your experience while 6yrs old has lead to a fear of wind. I would imagine I’d have the same fear. I am glad you’ve never witnesses the severity others have witnessed.

      Thank you for visiting. I always enjoy seeing you here. ~ Lenore

  3. For some reason, I do think the lack of imagery makes it worse because our own imagination takes over and we can easily picture ourselves and our loved ones crying out in the dark.

    I never grew up near/around tornadoes and last year, when a Tornado Siren sounded, I was the one who heard it and moved us all to the basement. I can’t imagine much more that would be as terrifying.

    My heart aches for all who’ve been affected by the devastation.

    1. Good point, MJ. I think if we saw what was happening, it would be far worse. The cries and ‘unknown’ was enough. Tornado season cannot end soon enough. Meanwhile, people still need help.
      Thank you for visiting, MJ. ~ Lenore

  4. The sad thing is that people forget and move on to the next disaster so quickly. A week later, they are moved on to the next issue, but the suffering goes on.

    When I went to Mississippi after katrina, the one consistent presence I saw was the Red Cross. They’ll always get my donation

    1. That is so true, Oma. We are fickle with our attention – Oooh! Look! Something shiny! The Red Cross does an incredible job – the Salvation Army, too. I’m making a point to send donations for the next several months.The time needed to clean up and rebuild in these areas will take months to years.

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting. It’s good to see you here. ~ Lenore

    1. Rumbly, I have a confession: I am a serious weather geek. I’d love to spend a summer with storm chasers. However, last month, when our area was hit – I was home alone with the kids. My husband was still at work. I was frantic and nervous (though I tried my best to stay calm for the kids). Typically, when storms hit, I watch with fascination. I don’t wish damage, destruction or death on anyone. I am merely in awe of mother nature. However, lately …. my perspective has changed. ~ Lenore

    1. Thank you, OurNote2Self. It is sad. There is a long road ahead, so the prayers will be needed for a very long time.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting. I hope you’ll return again. ~ Lenore

  5. Great post! Thank you for bringing attention to the American Red Cross. They do great work. A friend from high school lives in Joplin. Last Tuesday or Wednesday we found out she’s fine as she lives in the northeast part of town, but she’s hurting for her kids along her bus route (she drives a school bus in retirement) in the south end of town. With fb and blogging our neighborhood is very close.

    1. Thanks Georgette. We love the Red Cross. My husband and I are active blood donors, and we lean typically favor the Red Cross when it comes to charitable giving. Their presence is great. ~ Lenore

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