Saturday, March 28, 2009

Reason for optimism from North Dakota

The Red River is rising, threatening to flood out entire towns ....

I just got in from filling sand bags to fight the rising flood waters in our valley. I worked with a bunch of high school students, let out for this purpose.

These young men and women were great. They did the work cheerfully, with minimal supervision, and without slacking.

One small girl held bags for me while I shoveled. I could see the exhaustion on her face, but she never complained.

She did however, abandon me for a tall, handsome young senior. At one time he had three girls holding bags for him to fill, while I had none. ;) (However, he was shoveling like a machine.)

So I paired with a woman closer to my own age who works in the juvenile justice system.  She mentioned she recognized a few of the young folks around...

I feel better about a few things now, although I'll be stiff and sore tomorrow for sure. These kids faced up to a crisis, and believe me it's a crisis here, with guts, grit, and cheerfulness.

These kids have have been raised in a nation with a crap educational curriculum and an increasingly toxic culture. But when the chips were down, they came through.

I don't know if this is just a local phenomenon, this is after all a pretty isolated part of the country. And I don't know how they'd fare faced with a threat that's not just impersonal nature but malevolent and evil, such as resurgent communism or radical Islam.

Still, I feel good about this - and the water is still rising.

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