What Insurance Can Never Replace

We don’t have CNN or Fox News at home. And even if we did, my TV would still have been settled on Nick Jr. or PBS Kids during the coverage of the tornados that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma on May 20, 2013.

I would have left it on kids’ shows if for no other reason than my imagination.  I can’t help but place my children in that school, huddled together, with only prayer and a few teachers between them and the massive tornado headed their way.  It pains me to think about it. It pains me to think of those parents and any of those children’s friends.

I got my news by thumbing through Flipboard on my phone. Not only did I read about the tornado, but also about mayhem in Iraq and countless other stories around the country and globe that put a sick feeling in my stomach.

Oklahoma Tornado

Sue Ogrocki/AP

Overwhelm and Paralysis

It’s so overwhelming it’s paralyzing. There’s nothing I can do to fix any of it. Nobody’s asking me to fix any of it.  But sitting in a suburb of Atlanta and being faced with the power of nature and, in the cases of some of the stories across the globe, the power of hatred, I know there is only so much we can do to protect ourselves and the ones we love.

But people – the ones we love and the individual faces that make up humanity – are also the very reasons that we always have to make our way out of overwhelm and paralysis into being energized and taking action.

People are Irreplaceable

As an insurance agent, I can never, ever replace a person. I can cut you a check to rebuild a building. I can get a car replaced. I can make sure you have money to defend you or your business in court.

But I can never replace a person. And I can’t undo anything that might have happened to a person – I can’t cause someone to unexperience an experience.

Nothing can undo an injury or a death or a wrong that happens to a person. There is nothing we can pay someone that can reverse time and gain some kind of foreknowledge so that we could get children out of a school in Oklahoma before a tornado hits… or children out of a school in Connecticut before a gunman attacks.

At the same time, nothing can replace the people who step up in those situations and give themselves to protect the people in their care.

People truly are irreplaceable. We can’t get back what we might have lost. But we also can’t find something greater than a person who puts himself or herself between danger and others. You can’t replace or substitute for teachers or others who have been trained to do what’s right, and who have such a heart for their students that they do what should be done when the chips are down.

Our Actions are Irreplaceable

If there’s a lesson at all here, it’s simply this:

May any of us, in the face of any of these horrible situations, be prepared to step in where we can to protect the people who need it. Our actions, in those moments, would be irreplaceable.

I pray for the victims and their families. I pray for the people who, right now, are irreplaceable in helping to bring healing, both physically and emotionally. They will emerge as heroes as survivors and loved ones move forward.

I won’t venture to speak to the pain of those who have experienced great loss.

But I will speak to us who might be briefly settled into a state of being overwhelmed: You and I are irreplaceable. Any action we can take is powerful. It might save a life. It might aid in healing a hurt heart. It might help in any number of ways.

We are irreplaceable.





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