Every Day Heroes



Natural catastrophes, like wars, bring out the best and worst in Men.  I have been pleased that in Houston thus far there seems to be more of the former than the latter.  Native Houstonian Beldar at Beldar Blog gives us his pespective:


Americans and people the world over are watching heart-grabbing, jaw-dropping, eye-watering videos and stories from Harvey via a combination of the national TV news networks and the major news websites, plus their own social media platforms, with their customized profiles based on their particular histories, preferences, settings, etc., influenced directly and indirectly by their respective locations and sets of friends.

Houstonians like me who’ve not been much directly affected by Harvey are watching those same national media, of course. Many of us are supplementing the national networks, or deserting them, for local TV news stations, whose coverage and performance is in every respect superior to their national counterparts. Local reporting is more in depth, of course, and more knowledgeable, of course, and better connected to history, of course. But it’s also showing significantly better perspective and judgment, with less hysteria, less ratings-pandering, less sensationalism, and vastly more critically useful factual information.

Moreover, and less obviously: My Facebook feed, customized to my set of friends and contacts, is giving me a constant, steady set of more granular news in parallel to what I’m seeing on TV (local or national) or other general internet sources.

So to my friends in, say, California: I’m seeing the heroic stories you’re seeing. But I’m also seeing dozens of individual people I know — neighbors, relatives, law colleagues and judges, old friends from college, people I’ve “met” only online — engaged in quiet, effective, and almost completely unreported heroism. There’s no reason why FB would be or could be curating this sort of thing effectively for the vast set of people who aren’t living in Houston or on the Gulf Coast or otherwise involved in the rescue & recovery efforts.

But these smaller, less flashy rescues, these bunking arrangements, these boat loans and sandwich deliveries and “I heard from your cousin, she’s alive!” messages that I’m seeing pass among my fellow Houstonians through the particular lens of my set of FB friends — these things, individually and especially cumulatively, are awe-inspiring. These decent acts, these attempts to be useful and helpful, are more striking to me precisely because unlike the heroes I’m seeing on TV, these particular acts of heroism are being performed by people I already know. And I think it’s a very reasonable inference that millions of other Houstonians in my approximate position are likewise seeing a different set of people who they know, who are being similarly heroic during Harvey — but of whom you and I are utterly unaware, and always will be.


Go here to read the rest.  I sometimes wonder why God went through the trouble of making us.  Then I see Man at his best:  heroic, self-sacrificing and noble, and it is not quite such a mystery.



Readers of this blog need no encouragement me to contribute to flood relief.  My bride and I have done so.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Somehow, we’ve managed to build a mutual aid culture in this country that is routine in these situations rather than hit-and-miss. If you remember the heat waves in France about 15 years ago, you can see what happens when it’s hit-and-miss. Not sure where it’s one and where it’s the other.

  2. I guess not everyone has a congenial regard for the locals in greater Houston.


    The cartoonist in question is over 60, has been kicking around in the editorial commentary business for about 40 years now, and has won prizes from the Library of Congress, the Pulitzer Foundation, and the National Press Foundation. You look at this guy, you’re looking the liberal establishment right in the face.

  3. I wonder if said cartoonist can “get people to think,”

    The lies this man tells himself notwithstanding, that’s very seldom an activity editorial cartoonists engage in; they’re there to amuse the tribe. Some are better at it than others. Only very rarely will one make a concise statement of an issue that might cause you to see it from an angle to which you’re not accustomed. The New Yorker cartoons and Feiffer at his best, as did the fellow who produced the single panel for the front page of Gannet papers back in the day, but these efforts are seldom explicitly political.

  4. *joke*

    There was this guy in a flood. Water was lapping at his front door, and a neighbor came by.
    “Hey, get in the car! I’ll save you!”
    “No, God will save me.”
    Water gets a bit higher, he goes to the second story.
    Coast guard comes by.
    “Hey, get in the boat!”
    “No, God will save me.”
    Flood gets higher, he’s on the roof.
    Marines come by in a helo.
    “Hey, grab on!”
    “No, God will save me.”
    Well, he drowns.
    He gets to the pearly gates, and there’s God.
    “Lord, why didn’t you save me?”
    “What?!? I sent you neighbor, the coast guard, and the MARINES!”

  5. I just came upon this attributed to St Teresa of Avila:
    Christ has no body but yours,
    No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
    Yours are the eyes with which he looks
    Compassion on this world,
    Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
    Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
    Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
    Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
    Christ has no body now but yours,
    No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
    Yours are the eyes with which he looks
    compassion on this world.
    Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

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