In last week’s column under the title, ‘Will We Be Ready?’ I made reference to Hurricane Irma which was at the time a Category 5 hurricane, packing winds of 185 miles an hour, threatening to hit our island.
Well, we here on Grand Bahama were fortunate not to have a direct hit from this catastrophic storm but instead by the time she reached our island she had already been downgraded to a Tropical Storm. We did, however, have a few tornadoes as a result of the storm that caused some devastation for a few persons on the island.
There were other islands in The Bahamas, particularly our South Eastern Islands who sustained some major devastation with persons even losing their homes. Ragged Island was totally devastated with homes, the school, clinic etc. being destroyed and the island being deemed uninhabitable.
Meanwhile, here on Grand Bahama with the passing of Irma, we lost ‘power’ at intervals until eventually the whole island was off by Sunday night. Soon thereafter, we also lost water. Almost immediately, people hit social media complaining about having no ‘power,’ sending messages to Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) requesting that ‘power’ be restored in their neighborhoods. As ‘power’ was being restored in some areas, a few persons then began posting on social media expressing joy and informing others that their ‘power’ was restored.
I could identify with these persons. During the passing of Irma I had heard about some areas losing power from Saturday and early Sunday morning, but in our area it was not until late Sunday night when the ‘power’ eventually went off. I too became miserable. It was unbearably hot and hard to sleep at night.
However, while I could identify with the posts that were being made and while we were also happy when the ‘power’ was restored in our area, as I read the posts with some persons constantly griping and complaining about not having power and others celebrating, I could not help but think that as a people we are sometimes very inconsiderate and ungrateful. We all needed to be mindful of the bigger picture.
Yes, we all love having (or even need) essential utilities for various reasons but if Hurricane Irma had given us a direct hit as she was initially projected to, our island could have been severely devastated and we would have been without power for a much longer time as we were with Hurricane Matthew. Aren’t we thankful that we were spared?
Think about our fellow Bahamians on the islands that were devastated; many losing their homes and other valuables. While the majority of persons may have evacuated these islands and may currently be safe and comfortable with family members or friends, there is no place like home. I’m sure many of them are yearning to return home. While we complained about power, they have no home to return to. I could not help but think about what some of them could have possibly been thinking if they read some of those posts.
On other Caribbean Islands and in some parts of the USA, there were some who lost their lives as a result of this catastrophic storm. I am sure that most of us would rather be without ‘power’ for a while than to have died or lost a loved one as a result of the storm.
Sometimes we just need to stop, think, and put things in perspective. When we think that things are really bad with us, if we take the focus off ourselves for a while, we will then realize that there are others who have it worse. In the case of Hurricane Irma, if we had taken the focus of our minimal problem of not having ‘power’ and think on what our fellow Bahamians elsewhere were experiencing because of the storm, we would have been more grateful.
I am certain that many of the persons who were complaining about not having ‘power’ are indeed grateful and thankful to God that we here on Grand Bahama Island were spared from the wrath of Hurricane Irma, however, the constant posts and complaining could have come across as being selfish and ungrateful. Let us be mindful of others and humble ourselves. In the words of C.S.Lewis, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
Let us give thanks to God for His grace and mercy towards us in sparing us from the wrath of Irma and let’s all do our part, lending a helping hand in whichever way we can to assist those that were severely devastated by Hurricane Irma.
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