Bowling Together After Hurricane Katrina

One of the most interesting stories to come out of New Orleans and the impact of Katrina is about a small group of 6 Canadians. One of those 3 couples – Jay and Karen Weir – spoke of their harrowing journey.

The three couples were visiting New Orleans for a vacation when the Hurricane struck. They ended up spending almost a week stranded in garbage and corpses outside a shopping mall.

One of the comments that Jay made was as follows; “If it wasn’t for our neighbours and ourselves and the other people we met, we probably wouldn’t be here. We were better off making decisions together than going it alone."

They spoke about how their makeshift tribe established latrines and stockpiled ice water and food. One member of the community became the cook, and rationed food, making sure the children and elderly were fed. They even learned how to negotiate with looters, sharing supplies and offering them money.

Bowling together more than likely saved their lives. Consider the impact they had on the rest of their “tribe”. Each member contributed in a meaningful way, giving and taking as required.

If, as Hillary Clinton says, it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to “raise a career”. More than 70% of jobs are found in non traditional manners – even with the existence of job boards and electronic tools, the most effective way to find and manage your career remains receiving help from your “tribe”.

A postscript to this story, the plane they came home in ended up with a fuel leak, and they had to vacate the plane on emergency slides: “we just laughed all the way out”. An interesting perspective!