Compassion and Resilience Beyond Borders

May, 11, 2011

This spring has proven the borderless and limitless qualities of human compassion and resilience. Immediately following unprecedented natural destruction in Japan, the United States was hit with historic extremes in tornadoes, rains, and floods mixed with scorching wildfires. This had not subsided when, today, southeast Spain suffered death and destruction from two earthquakes. Americans swiftly responded to Japan’s misfortune with generous donations of their means, time, and talents. Then, without hesitation, they again helped unfortunate disaster victims in their own country. As US floodwaters were cresting, Americans reached out to Spain─and those suffering in all three countries exhibited courage and grace amid crisis.

I realize that those of other nationalities also helped, but I know the American response best because I am an American and I was here. For Japan, several US celebrities donated millions of dollars, corporations gave goods and cash, organizations held benefits, and citizens of modest incomes donated what they could. Now they are doing the same for their country and Spain while continuing to help Japan. In the US, without being asked, volunteers appeared at disaster sites, pitched in, and helped. When they had to leave, they manned their smart phones to Facebook and tweet the need for help. Others then came to take their place. Memphis exhibited calm as the Mississippi River reached its highest levels in decades. While over 1,000 people evacuated their homes, the NBA playoff games went forward, and instead of calling off a barbeque contest, they moved it to higher ground!

Even if you do not live in an affected area, you can help by donating as little as $10. Phone the American Red Cross 800-733-2767 log onto, or text “redcross” to 90999; contact World Vision at 866-562-4453 or; or reach Save the Children at 800-728-3843 …or you can choose another organization. I donated my April book sales to the Red Cross for Japan, and I am a member of a worldwide rapid response welfare organization.

Compassion and Resilience Beyond Borders

Family Emerges from a Safe Room in Athens Alabama (AP)

Compassion and Resilience Beyond Borders

Destruction in Tuscaloosa Alabama

Compassion and Resilience Beyond Borders

Mississippi River Reaches Record Levels in Memphis

Compassion and Resilience Beyond Borders

Destruction in Smithville Mississippi

Compassion and Resilience Beyond Borders

Tornado and Lighting in Mississippi

  1. Matt says:

    Thanks for the insightful info.

  2. Trey says:

    You gave more insightful, inspiring info on this than anything I’ve seen. Do you know why our April weather was so violent?

  3. Katherine Chloé Cahoon says:

    Trey, that’s a good question! The tornadoes, lightning, and torrential rains were a battle between two extreme weather systems. Exceptionally cold air barreled southward from Canada, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Exceptionally warm air came off the Gulf of Mexico and roared through Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. Then these two radically different systems collided.

  4. Trey says:

    Wow girl you know everything! Smart and stunning…the ideal combo.


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