Resilience will drive us to a brighter future
There’s an old axiom about what to do when you’re faced with a potentially devastating event—it says people are motivated to either “fight or flight.” When Hurricane Irma threatened Southwest Florida, and particularly the barrier island we call home, I feared the worst. The forecast of a huge storm surge and wild winds got my full attention, and a mandatory evacuation order is not something to ignore.
Irma affected so many people in our area, some dramatically more than others. But from the coast to the eastern parts of our region, there was an instant reaction from our community to get out there and give help to those in need. The storm passed and it was time for action, for people to reach out to assist when normally they might not. We Southwest Floridians are defining our fight to return to pre-Irma conditions. Cutting and hauling huge trees from a neighbor’s property, dragging debris off the road, tearing down a damaged fence, and taking cold water and warm food to those who needed it—all of these things and more happened immediately. The residents, and the few visitors who were here, got over the shock and became determined to rise above the disaster, and to help their neighbors rise above it, as well.
I am finding that just following the daily routine—same as before Irma—I now approach with a renewed appreciation. The people who live here and their shared passion for paradise fuel my optimism. Their love of Southwest Florida has led to a huge outpouring of good deeds, and our resilience will drive us beyond disaster to a brighter future. For sure, Southwest Florida continues to be home for many of us and will be the preferred destination for our visitors.
We all learned a lot! I think the inner determination we have discovered is a promising glimmer of hope for all of us going forward into this most wonderful season of the year.
I am thankful to everyone, to you as our loyal subscriber, our advertisers and to our wonderful TOTI team and associates.
Happy holidays and a healthy and prosperous New Year!
The people who live here and their shared passion for paradise fuel my optimism.