Editorial: Learning from others’ big stage

Jan. 29, 2013 @ 06:31 PM

When we hunker down with friends and prepare to watch the big game on Sunday, there will be a few lessons to be learned. Actually, a number of them should be learned before Super Bowl XLVII even kicks off.

New Orleans is the host city, as it has been many times before, but this is the first since Hurricane Katrina landed in 2005. Few of us forget the images or the stories. The city is slightly below sea level, levies failed, a president was skewered for his role in the recovery process, and there was even talk the city might lose its NFL team — one which played no true home games that year.

The arena we’ll see Sunday, much like it was last spring for the NCAA Final Four, won’t bear a resemblance to post-Katrina when toilets didn’t flush, filth overran the place and safety of those fleeing to it was in doubt.

No, the city has survived, and done so quite well. Tourist dollars are coming in, especially this week, and the lesson to be learned here in Henderson and Vance County one of resilience.

It is not a movement, a hash tag or a challenge. It is not carried out with crafty slogans, rah-rah speeches or demonstrations where everyone is told to look at us.

Resilience is understanding the situation we are in at the present time. It is formulating a plan that will help us deal with an adversity or consistent struggle. It is carrying out the plan, taking on and vanquishing more adversity in the process.

Plenty of storylines are being exposed daily, and will be until the ad blitz entertains us more than the football game. Some will be outright celebrations of goals longed for and achieved; others will glamorize overcoming adversity.

They’ll include the participants in the big game, and they’ll include those close to them. And they’ll include the city remarkably better than seven summers ago, one still housing people who hurt from the destruction and fate, but also filled with people of faith and perseverance.

There’s a lesson there for us all individually and collectively. What we choose to do with it is up to us.