After taking journalism classes in college, then graduating to work for a newspaper, Iï¿½ve long paid attention to problems that other reporters think about.
Among those conflicts is whether to get involved in a story theyï¿½re covering. When you witness misery, should you take the photo to let the world know whatï¿½s going on, or put down the camera and help that person?
This dilemma came to mind as I heard national reporters struggle with the question as they covered the results of Hurricane Katrina. The pain left after that storm affected everyone, and had many of us wondering, ï¿½What should I do?ï¿½
By now youï¿½ve most likely found your way to contribute. National and local media, churches, and the Red Cross have mobilized with information to put your willingness to help into action.
Among the most immediate needs in Gulf States is to restore electricity. Electric co-ops around the country sent nearly 1,500 line workers. Kentucky electric co-ops had 117 workers at hard-hit co-ops in Mississippi within a few days after the storm.
As members of an electric co-op, youï¿½re part of the support system getting those lights back on. Thatï¿½s important to keep in mind as we wonder whether we can make a difference.
After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, columnist David Dick offered some advice on how to respond to events that create such overwhelming emotions.
In his The View From Plum Lick column one year after 9/11, he wrote, ï¿½I made a promise to myself: the innocent victims at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania deserve my bestï¿½and thatï¿½s what theyï¿½re going to get.ï¿½
We all have ways we can help, whether youï¿½re restoring electricity as a line worker, keeping people informed as a reporter, making donations as a member of your church, or keeping your business or family strong. Something we can all do for the victims of Katrina is give them our best.