What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Note from A.M. in the Morning! on Sun Herald Editorial

by Ana Maria

With great sadness, I am posting the Sun Herald editorial which addresses the divide and conquer approach to reviewing what is needed to ensure the recovery of the entire Katrina-ravaged region. My sadness comes from seeing a tremendous amount of dissension among all of us who are trying to go beyond merely surviving Katrina's wrath to gloriously flourishing in her aftermath.

Whether pitting the Lower 9th War against the totality of the City of New Orleans, or the smaller towns outside of New Orleans against the city itself, or Louisiana against Mississippi and Alabama, the dichotomy is false, hurtful, painful, and unproductive.

This is not about who "got" more. This is about whether everyone is receiving what they need in an efficient and effective manner to achieve full recovery. Many of us have family and friends throughout the Katrina-ravaged region. Pitting us against each other needs to be turned into joining hands together to make things happen for all of us.

If something needs doing, let's get to doing it, funding it, building it, creating it, developing it. Recovery is about doing right by all of us. Recovery is about justice for all. The language of inclusion will assist us most in having folks think about ALL of us and doing for ALL of us.

That is one of the Sun Herald's points with which I agree most adamantly. I hope that you will, also.

I once heard a story about the difference between those who are successful and those who only dream of it. Plenty of variations of this story exist, I'm sure. This is the one I enjoy sharing.

In one room, a massive banquet was set on a table where the hungry folks sat. The most delicious foods and beverages with the most savory of smells filled the room. The problem, however, was that no recipient had elbows. The hunger made everyone more agitated and the inability to feed oneself made life . . . living hell.

In another room, the banquet was set all the same where hungry folks sat. The most delicious foods and beverages with the most savory of smells filled the room. Like the other room, the hungry folks had no elbows. Their own forks and spoons--like their friends in the other room--could not reach their own mouths.

What to do?

They fed each other.

I'm big on eating and celebrating, helping each other, and pulling together our resources so that all of us get what we need, create a united front so that others cannot divide us, and living happily ever after in each moment.

For those who think I'm pollyanna, I say that dividing and conquering is an old tactic to which each of us have a choice regarding whether we participate.

I want New Orleans to have media coverage and plenty of it. Mississippi and Alabama would like the same, thank you. I want the 9th Ward to have plenty of media coverage . . . and I want Slidell and Chalmette as well as the rest of New Orleans to receive it as well. We ALL need money, resources, insurance, jobs, health and vibrant businesses, safe communities, fabulous schools, and wonderful lives.

This isn't about getting our share of the pie with someone else determining the size, shape, and type for our families and communities. It's about ensuring that we have plenty of pie in the first place.

I'm a great pie baker. So, I say, let's be sure that we have plenty of ingredients to make all the pie we need!

(Really, I'm a great cook like many folks down here. Just a quick plug for our fabulous culinary skills throughout the Katrina-ravaged region: Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama!)

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