A 102-Year-Old Hears The Hurricanes Say: You Need “Helping Hands”

Barry Gander
8 min readOct 26, 2022

My 102-year-old father was in the park today with his two-year-old great-grandson. He was anxious that a more supportive society is needed to deal with today’s twin crises. I embellish his thoughts with links, for the modern Medium reader.

As yet another hurricane — Rosyln — heads for landfall, my father noted that the effects of the two earlier hurricanes are still with us. They are intruders which have hurt America physically yet have not used tanks or rifles or planes. Climate disaster and invasive disease are nevertheless enemies that have put millions of Americans into the ground before their time.

War, he says, is mankind’s greatest insanity. Every generation kills and wounds people and destroys the lives of many others. Poorly-executed disease containment is an equal crime.

My father proposes a new approach: “Helping Hands” — an organize whose goal would be to put at least a portion of the energy we now devote to war, into helping our society. Aimed at training young students, it would be focused on providing communities with help for climate disasters and infectious disease.

It is seen as a summer course over three months, which would teach the students how to respond to community needs for:

- Climate Change Emergencies;

- Healthcare Control;

- Sustainable Development;

- Water shortages; and

- Energy Plans

Of course, these “Acts of Nature” cannot be fought with conventional weapons. But with Helping Hands, we can prepare for and limit the damage.

He remembers a model from his youth: when Dad was a boy, FDR had this great program. It hired and trained up three million people!

The Civilian Conservation Corps was formed in 1933 in the wake of the Great Depression. It put millions of people — young men at that time — back to work. They moved across America building dams, roads, bridges, and telephone lines. This infrastructure is still in use today.

FDR’s goal was to inject money into the economy, at the working-person level. This was not “trickle down” economics; this was “trickle up”. Yes, the rich would…

Barry Gander

A Canadian from Connecticut: 2 strikes against me! I'm a top writer, looking for the Meaning under the headlines. Follow me on Mastodon @Barry