First and foremost, I wanted to thank all those that helped during the recent wildfires. There are too many to name but East Pierce Fire & Rescue, Enumclaw F.D., DNR, National Guard, Washington Emergency Management, and law enforcement are top of mind. However, we should not leave out the many volunteers, city staff and utility companies.
Although there were many thanks on social media platforms, I was very disturbed to read more than a handful of complaints and continued disrespect and lack of civility to the many that were literally risking their lives to save our lives, property and livestock. I was specifically disheartened on a thread with PSE where two individuals were harassing the PSE information staff who were doing the updates. Complaints ranged from, “I lost power first,” “My kids are home from school,” “Why isn’t my power on?” to even attacking their work ethic.
As a disclosure I have no dog in the fight for PSE; my point is they were risking their lives in 30-40 mph wind gusts, in a wildfire with toxic smoke, during a pandemic, and people were online complaining because they should get their power first. No, just because you were first out does not mean you’re first on. If you are going to live on the Plateau which has severe wind storms every year you need to understand priorities are set by a myriad of factors from hospitals, fire and police services first, to repairs that are the easiest, safest and serve the most people/businesses, etc. It is not about you first. Its about the collective us. The collective community. We need to get back to the basics and let it be about us and not and “I/me” and just maybe that will heal a lot of other wounds in this community.
Having a sense of community unites us. Being a part of a community can make us feel as though we are a part of something greater than ourselves. It can give us opportunities to connect with people, to reach for our community goals, and should make us feel safe and secure. Think about it.