Monday, February 8, 2010

Don't Wait for Somebody Else to Warn You

Those of you who have been following this blog might think I have a "thing" about entitlement mentality. To clear that issue up right now, I'll tell you straight out … yes, I do. If you think you're entitled to anything in this life, you're believing a dangerous myth. You're not even entitled to your next breath or next heartbeat, and if you think you are there's going to come a day when you draw your last breath and feel you final heartbeat and whine that somebody "up there" is failing you. Well, guess what folks, nobody is failing you. It's just part of life, so get on with what you have left of it and stop expecting somebody else to supply you with what you want, or think you need.

Now that I've got that off my chest, let's get on with a closely related incident that is making headlines in southern California. Everybody knows that the place burned to the ground last summer/fall. It does that every year, so it's no big surprise. Then, over the past couple of months, heavy rains turned roads into rivers. Without vegetation on the mountain slopes, the rain became floods in no time. What comes next in this repeating scenario? You got it, mudslides.

Today's news out of Los Angeles County says that 800 homes were evacuated due to heavy rains at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains that caused overflowing debris basins and rock and mudslides. But here's the thing that sparked my rant against entitlement thinking again — some residents complained that they were not told to get out of the affected areas until after the damage was done.

Here's a quote from one lady, "Nobody knew it was going to be this bad. Last time, they started warning us in time to prepare for it."

L.A. County Fire Chief Michael Freeman told reporters that by the time they saw how serious the storm was, it was too late to order evacuations. "We're operating just like everyone else, based on weather predictions," he said.

Hey, these folks don't have a crystal ball. They listen to the same weather report you do.

So where does that leave you? In a single word, it leaves you RESPONSIBLE. You are responsible to monitor the situation. You are responsible to make decisions. You are responsible for your own welfare. You are responsible to do something without having to be told. You are responsible to use common sense. You are responsible to prepare your own evacuation kit and then figure out when to use it and where you're going to go.

Don't wait for somebody else to warn you. The message might not come in time, or at all. Or you might misunderstand the advice. Or the advice might actually be wrong.

Prepare in advance. Monitor the situation, using all the means you have available. Make your decision. Live with the consequences. But for heaven sake, stop thinking you're entitled to something. You're not.

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