Hurricane Irene and Values

She started as hurricanes usually do…a “something” to watch. But quickly she became much more. It wasn’t long before every governor along the U.S. east coast was calling for mandatory evacuations of coastal homes.
Were you one of them?
All weekend I watched the Hurricane Irene’s frightening fury from a small cottage on Mt. Desert Island in Maine. While we had plenty of wind and rain and lost power, there was no flooding or serious damage. It was scary and inconvenient, but nothing more
On Monday, as the clean-up began, terrible stories of Irene’s destruction surfaced. Some died and many lost everything they owned while others were counting their blessings. But “we dodged a bullet,” was the consensus from those in the coastal area.
Then on Monday night we got some very sad news.
Only hours after checking in on her brother in hard-hit Vermont, Kelli, our cottage owner, got the terrible news that he died. For some reason, in the middle of the storm, Kelli’s brother walked out of his lake-front cottage to his boat. Something happened while he was there – no one will ever know what – and he drowned. The lights, television and computer were still on in his house when they found his body the next day.
Kelli was shocked and devastated. For those of us who are regular renters at the cottages, we shared her grief.
Yesterday I was reading news reports. One couple died when they went outside to “experience” the hurricane. Another was delivering a pizza and drowned. Kelli’s brother was apparently checking on his boat. All of them had been safe when they put themselves in harm’s way. What were they thinking?
As I think about the past week’s events, and the Victorious Woman’s August focus on values, I’m thinking about the intersection of the two. Values shape behaviors and life events that give us the opportunity to “show them off.” Usually it isn’t during a hurricane, earthquake or flood but during an everyday event at the office, or in a store or during a conversation at home. Fuzzy values lead to unproductive behaviors – one we often live to regret. I wonder if the young couple dancing in the hurricane valued a momentary thrill over safety or if the pizza man valued the profit from one pizza over his family? Of course they didn’t think they’d die…but what did they think?
Do you know what do you value? You can still access the Values List
And here’s a question that might give you a clue: If you had to evacuate your home fast, as the Hurricane Irene people did, what three things would you absolutely not leave behind?

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What are the Maine Diaries?

The Maine Diaries is a fun look at my annual adventure to New England where I unwind from normal life and reconnect with myself.

I was captivated by the Maine Coast on my first trip there in the late 90’s. In the years since, I’ve traveled up and down the coast from Kittery to Calais but I spend most of my Maine time Downeast. I love the adventures I have and the chance to unwind from the world and restore my inner clarity. I chronicle my experiences in The Maine Diaries.

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