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When things start getting real...

When thing start getting real...

The line from the old (and eerily prophetic) reality show The Real World was "find out what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real." (With the assumption being that no one was quite being real about anything in the 90s). Well, things are definitely getting real around here, but as we all know that isn't always such a good thing.

Of course, at City Dogs we will always Keep it Real. In that vein, we know there has been a lot (some might say an unprecedented amount) of natural disaster devastation in the Caribbean, in the southern US, in Mexico and many other places we are going to be visiting soon in our travels and we want to acknowledge that and do what we can to help people out. The American Red Cross does great work. So does Doctors without Borders. But there are lots of ways to get involved, even if donations aren't exactly your thing.

Looking at all of these events one could start to wonder what's really going on but we're not going to get into that here. Instead we're going to focus on ways to take positive, meaningful action to help those who need help the most because let's face it, in a lot of these places, especially isolated island locations, there isn't the kind of infrastructure needed for massive rebuilding operations, especially after natural disasters. I'm not going to say someone in say, Puerto Rico needs help more than someone in say, Miami Beach or Houston, what I am going to say is taking a look at the stock market it's clear there is a lot of wealth out there and those at the bottom in these tropical places who are being ravaged by these disasters need help too.

Getting involved isn't easy, but neither are most things that are actually worth the effort. Start by having a conversation with someone else, someone who might not know or care about it. Donate if you can or do more if you can, get involved in a real, physical way -- put yourself, your skills, your expertise, whatever it happens to be -- on the line -- help haul the trash away, help rebuild where there is devastation, design a digital graphic with a new message, promote organizations doing what you believe , etc.

The worst thing to do is to acknowledge the problem and do nothing.

And getting real on this post about getting real, I know this is the kind of heavy-handed self-righteous screed that turns a lot of people off about environmental causes (let's be even realer and assume that few readers even make it to this conditional clause in a thick paragraph in a long post of indecipherable paragraphs), but the fact of the matter is that if we do nothing while millions of people suffer unneeded agony then perhaps we are as the worst of our detractors label us, as hypocrites in high castles with paper thin beliefs.

Maybe we are hypocrites, maybe not. We're taking a risk, making a calculating gamble, going out on a limb, that much is certain. Without a doubt we're going to see some carnage up close, bear witness to some horrific destruction, speak with many survivors, refugees and people affected in a thousand minor and major ways. What's less certain is how we are going to react, how we're going to bear under the stresses of our new lives.

There's a lot of uncertainty in our lives at this point. There's still another month of hurricane season and who knows just what additional havoc nature is going to unleash on the Caribbean. What is certain is that we'll have each other to lean on, that we'll back each other up -- no matter what! Stormy seas, doldrums and all types of weather in between we're in this thing together. One pack to rule them all.

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