As Texas begins the long process of recovery from the catastrophe of Hurricane Harvey, Americans across the country should embrace four important lessons:
First, let’s acknowledge that government isn’t always the enemy—and in emergencies like this one, government at the local, state and federal levels has a crucial, life-saving role to play.
Second, we see that government alone isn’t enough—private businesses, and countless individual volunteers proved indispensable for rescue and recovery.
Third, in times of crisis our various divisions—racial, political, religious—matter less than we thought. No one asked rescuers or the rescued about political affiliation or ethnic background when lives were at stake.
Finally, the country can put aside its passionate disagreements, and work together when it’s necessary, as we strive to return to normal life.
And yes, after Harvey, we’re reminded that normal life—whatever its shortcomings and frustrations—is worth defending and even cherishing in this phenomenally fortunate nation.