Letter 9 - When Tragedy Strikes

Let's All Become Heroes...

When Tragedy Strikes...

When tragedy strikes, no matter if it’s with yourself, a loved one, a friend or co-worker, across the nation, or across the globe, we inevitably feel some type of strong emotion.

We can feel a sense of loss and security, scared and worried, and sometimes we feel anger and hate. Tragedy can make us feel alone, like we are the only ones who shoulder the burden. It can make us want to pull back from society to protect ourselves and those we love.

With our fast paced lives and less face to face contact due to technology, crazy schedules, stranger danger, and the media, it can make it very hard to retain any sense of community. It is too easy to stay inside our homes and become isolated, but isolation leads to detachment from others and breakdown in community.

Community is loosely defined as: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. I know that we are not all the same here in Cowlitz County, and we wouldn't want it that way. Our melting pot of backgrounds, lifestyles, priorities, and philosophies make us who we are and adds to our uniqueness. But, although we may not share the same views and ideas, we are still one community and our common goal should be to make our community great. Whether you have a vested interest in your neighborhood, the city, or beyond-

Here are some simple ways to increase our sense of community and increase our quality of life:

  • Attend community events (we have some amazing ones)
  • Volunteer (Opportunities are endless in Longview- here are a few of ours)
  • Attend local council meetings and find out what’s going on in our community (More information here)
  • Buy from local merchants, visit our downtown
  • Spend more time outside, in a park (We have 18 parks to choose from)
  • Support local schools
  • Join a club or other social organization (Here are just a few)
  • Take time to personally greet someone new to our community
  • Be the reason someone smiles

Mr. Rogers (yes, the children’s television actor) is quoted saying When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping. To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers- so many caring people in this world.

When tragedy strikes we need our community more than ever. Tragedy will change us but we choose how it will affect us. We can let it destroy us and make us bitter or we can let it bring us together and make us better.

Let’s work together to make our community stronger.

Jennifer Wills
Director Parks and Recreation