A City with Social Compassion: Nashville

by Jay Deragon on 05/06/2010

When people move to help out others in need it moves others to do the same. The unselfish demonstration of “compassion” for your neighbors pain is a true representation of a “city’s” social capital.

Social capital is not a commercial equity rather it is human equity that creates a “social system” worthy of recognition. I am proud to share with you the “social compassion” currently being demonstrated in middle Tennessee and yet is not being covered by the main stream media.

In case you were not aware middle Tennessee  was hit with a record rainfall that caused flash flooding and eventually catastrophic flooding due to rivers overflowing into neighborhoods, interstate highways and historic business districts.

Thanks to local media  coverage and social websites sharing of pictures, the world can see images of flooding and historical devastation beyond comprehension.    The  Gaylord Opryland Hotel looking more like the deck of the Titanic as it reached the ocean surface.  The shocking image of the Grand Ole Opry, horrifically submerged in four feet of river water–was incomprehensible.  The May-2010 flood hit the surrounding area similar to Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

Consider the numbers: 15 plus inches of rain in 36 hours, four rivers exceeding flood levels by 4-11 feet, over 1500 water rescues, eighteen confirmed deaths in Nashville alone and many still reported missing.

Devastation of Human Life and Social Infrastructure

Homes and business in the center of Nashville and throughout middle Tennessee perished without warning. Worse was the lost of life trying to escape the force of rising water. One was a 21 year old father, who was trying to get home to his two children with a babysitter.  He left work early , tried to cross some moving water and was swept away.  Two children lost their father, a mother and father lost their son.  There is no higher price in these events than life!

Major highways and roads were washed out crippling the normal flow of commerce, work, education and life in general. The damage to property will be in the billions and FEMA has declared numerous counties national disasters.

Local law enforcement, politicians and members of our community united together to save lives and help people restore disrupted lives.    The people of Middle Tennessee showed the nation what social capital, character, compassion and volunteerism is all about. And yet many will never know just how powerful the force of our local human network was and continues to be.

While the Water Rose so did the People

In times of disaster the human network rises to the need of others with social compassion.

In the first 24 hours after flood:

Reported Looting – 0

Recorded Volunteers signed up with “hands On Nashville” at www.hon.org –  CURRENTLY OVER 8,000!

Our  state motto is “the volunteer state” and the people demonstrated the force of compassion can overcome the force of disaster. Businesses, individuals, churches, politicians, the local government continue to volunteer time, money, effort and most of all the social capital needed to help people restore their life, their homes and their business.

The social fiber of our state is and will continue to demonstrate social capital beyond the economic losses.  Their is no measure for the lives lost accept the call of duty from those who live. The duty of the human network is to serve the needs of others regardless of cost.

I am proud to be part of this human network and praise all those that rose to serve the needs of others. Nashville, you make us proud!

Since main stream media isn’t sharing the social compassion demonstrated by the people of Nashville I ask for my readers to please share this with your audience.


JDeragon May 6, 2010 at 9:33 am

A City with Social Compassion: Nashville…please share this http://bit.ly/bIRocB

JDeragon May 6, 2010 at 9:31 am

Try this: A City with Social Compassion: Nashville http://bit.ly/d3tEt4 #socialmedia #strategy

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