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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 31, 1997)
OF THE WEEK
“The neighborhoods are just deci
mated. It looks like a war zone out
there in some of our neighborhoods.”
Mayor Mike Johanns on the damage
after the Blizzard of 1997
“It looks pretty bad. So many peo
ple have contributed so much time to
designing this. In one night, (the snow)
just pulls it ail down. It’s very sad.”
Jeffrey Culbertson, East Campus
landscape manager, on the damage
“It was frightening, yet awesome,
seeing the power of nature.”
Kevin Bergstrom, who could only
watch the storm damage at 1804 F St.
“This is like a tornado or hurri
cane. I don’t even know where to start
with these limbs.”
Darrell Dubry, whose chain saw was
making firewood out of a giant tree
branch that had fallen on his neighbor’s
“I really don’t feel like studying by
Paul Bryngelson, who lost power at
his house at 1407 N. 21st St.
“This is not going to be a situation
where we can solve things quickly and
easily. There has just been too much
Johanns, after touring Lincoln to see
the damage done
“We are concerned some residents
are staying at homes without heat. We
are more than willing to get those peo
ple to shelter.”
Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady, a
day after cleanup efforts began
“This is a perfect opportunity for
the scam artists to descend upon our
city. We ask people to be very vigi
Johanns, on the aftermath of the bliz
“I’m a firm opponent of closing
school. I said I would never close it,
but I think it’s the right thing to do.
Campus isn’t safe for people to walk
UNL Chancellor James Moeser, on
“We decided to lock the house
because we felt it wasn’t safe to stay in
the house. Even our house mother left
and went to her home in Lincoln.”
Becky Sawyer, a junior family and
consumer science' education major, on
her Alpha Phi Sorority house losing
“When I find out who this El Nino
fellow is, I’m gonna kick his Mexican
Daily Nebraskan Columnist Steve
Willey, in todays opinion pages, about
this week’s blizzard
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the Fall 1997 Daily Nebraskan. They do
not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its
employees, its student body or the
Univereity of Nebraska Board of Regents.
A column is sotely the opinion of its author.
The Board of Regents serves as publisher
of the Daily Nebraskan; policy is set by
the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The
UNL Publications Board, established by
the regents, supervises the production
of the paper. According to policy set by
the regents, responsibility for the editorial
content of the newspaper lies solely in
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The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief
letters to the editor and guest columns,
but does not guarantee their publication.
The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to
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Submitted material becomes property of
the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be
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letters must identity themselves by name,
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Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34
Nebraska Union, 1400 R St. Lincoln,
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\Wf OM&> Moffat 0^1* NeAS
Greed is not good
True happiness comes from family
AARON COOPER is a
junior English major and a
Daily Nebraskan colum
It was just a picture.
It was just another one of those
entrancing kind of pictures you see in
National Geographic or Newsweek.
But lately it has become much more
than just a flat image on a piece of
It has become a powerful legacy.
About four years ago I was flip
ping through a magazine for a class
project, and I came across a very vivid
image. It was a photograph of two
boys, who appeared to be brothers,
living in a third-world country.
Nothing out of the ordinary, except for
one thing. The older boy (about 14
years old) was carrying the younger
boy (about 8) and the younger boy
was without a shirt - and without his
arms or his legs.
The older boy had a puzzled look
on his face, as though he was used to a
hard life but he didn’t understand why
his world was the way it was. What
stole my attention was the fact that the
younger boy without a shirt or his
major limbs was smiling.
He was smiling.
So I asked myself a very important
question: What would it take for an 8
year-old boy without arms or legs liv
ing in a very poor community to
As I thought more and more about
this question during this week of
chaos and environmental disaster,
something fell into place for me.
It started when I began hearing
complaints about who didn’t have
power, who didn’t have TY who lost
the windshield to his car. Like many
others, I tried to find ways to occupy
myself without electricity by playing
card games wherever there was light
And some of these are valid con
cerns, but not to the point of relentless
... every now and then Mother Nature
knows when we are too comfortable, and she
turns our lives upside down to make us
reevaluate what is truly important...
whining and complaining about what
someone doesn’t have.
What about the things we do have
and will still have after all the smoke
As the week has progressed, peo
ple are still without power, heat and
cable TV I started hearing more com
plaints about the university having
classes on Wednesday after two days
off. And it wasn’t unusual that some
one couldn’t get to class, but to some,
two days off just wasn’t good enough.
What? - would three have been
enough? Four? How about canceling
classes until January?
You give some people a dollar and
they ask for two. Is this really what we
should be worrying about?
As the image of the boys trans
posed itself with the image of angry
students complaining about lost cable
and electricity, I started realizing how
much we take for granted: Things like
shelter, indoor plumbing, even our
health until it’s gone. Then we start
talking again about what we don’t
But what about the things we do
have that those boys never will? What
do you think the people in their village
would give for a week of electricity or
a day without hunger?
And here we are worrying about
the scratches on our cars or losing
radio for a little while. I think we need
to change the way we view the impor
tant things in life and appreciate what
we do have that some snow usually
won’t destroy: family, friends, shelter,
food. If we lose heat for a week do we
think about those who never have any
heat? How can you lose something
you never had in the first place?
Something needs to change.
So what would it take for an 8
year-old boy without arms or legs to
smile in a land where toys are not
commonplace but extravagant luxu
ries? The answer is painfully simple.
I think that young boy understood
something that many of us don’t
understand. I think he knew that his
brother loved him and obviously took
care of him, and maybe his family was
closely knit, no matter how tough the
times got. I think his village is proba
bly a place where the population’s
entire gross annual product is less than
what Michael Jordan or Bill Gates
makes in a day. And I am impressed
with those members of the community
who pitched in to help others or those
around them, but I am appalled at the
outbreak of complaints because power
isn’t being restored fast enough.
Does anyone want to volunteer for
the job of being that boy?
Something needs to change.
But these are not always poor peo
ple. Like the two boys in the picture,
those who understand what it means
to be a family and who don’t take any
thing for granted have a chance at true
happiness - not the empty kind, which
we often try to fill with cable TV,
clothes or fancy cars.
Finding that kind of meaning in
life is not something money can buy.
Maybe that’s what we should be think
ing about when we talk about what we
don’t have vs. all of the important
things we do have.
The hope I took from this realiza
tion is that every now and then Mother
Nature knows when we are too com
fortable, and she turns our lives upside
down to make us reevaluate what is
truly important and necessary to us
or at least what should be.
This is the perfect time to seize
that opportunity and to stop worrying
about things that will eventually return
to normal or things that can be
We can’t afford not to.
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