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Fire 3

Our neighbors who lost their home in the fire this week are doing better than expected.  I think that this is because they had all three of the elements necessary to survive a tragedy.

They have social capital.  Meaning friends and associates that care about them as people. I had written about how important social capital is to getting old graciously but this fire has taught me how important it is to the normal tragedies of every day life.  Jose and Janice had friends, family and neighbors who came to their aid immediately.

They are responsible people so that they have insurance and reserves in place.

And they have a attitude about life that is well illustrated by what Janice told me yesterday she said to her children “Why does this kind of thing happen to us?  Because we can take it.”   An attitude that includes at least a little bit of what I call the key to happiness: low expectations is essential to surviving the worst things that happen in life.

Life is good.

Every day is a gift.

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