A great lesson in stubborness, courtesy of my grandfather

Well, I am having a lovely time in Florida. The weather is fantastic and I could not ask for a better vacation. My brother and I travelled to Orlando on Wednesday and went to Universal’s Islands of Adventure, so I could live out my life-long dream of visiting Hogwarts and trying butterbeer!

One of the things I’ve been doing while I’m hear is trying to convince my grandparents to create an Emergency Kit. It’s proven a lot harder than I thought, but as my brother pointed out, it’s good practice for trying to convince the rest of the world that its a good idea to have one. The theme that kept coming up while I was arguing discussing the issue with my grandfather was that the chances were very slim that they would ever need one.

I reminded him that they lived in a hurricane prone area, on a canal, and that disasters can happen anywhere (I used the recent tornadoes in the Midwest as an example). I said that at the very least they should have a “ready-to-go” kit, with extra cash, clothes, and insurance and medical information. I had my grandmother convinced, but we had no luck winning over my grandfather.

“Because,” he said, after my grandmother asked him what the harm was. “It’s a pain in the ass, and it’s not going to happen, and if it does, I’m not worried.” He said he had thirty-six people (including my aunts, uncles and all my cousins) who would look after them if anything happened. Nothing I said to the contrary would sway him.

Eventually, I gave up, for the sake of having a peaceful night. But I reminded him of a story I heard at mass with him once:

A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, “Jump in, I can save you.”

The stranded fellow shouted back, “No, it’s OK, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me.”

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. “The fellow in the motorboat shouted, “Jump in, I can save you.”

To this the stranded man said, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, “Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety.”

To this the stranded man again replied, “No thanks, I’m praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith.”

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, “I had faith in you but you didn’t save me, you let me drown. I don’t understand why!”

To this God replied, “I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”

I think its a great reminder that we should always be doing whatever we can to keep ourselves safe. I still haven’t convinced him, but I noticed that he kept the list I made for him, so hopefully he will reconsider!



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