Originally Published: June 30, 2014 1:30 p.m.
I have written about this topic before, and many people have talked or written about it as well.
It's the donations and lawsuits related to the Yarnell Hill fire of June 30, 2013. One such lawsuit, on behalf of 160 plaintiffs, is seeking a jury trial and millions of dollars from the state; at the same time, they already received money from insurance companies and community donations. Other lawsuits involve the families and widows of the fallen 19 Hotshots. They too have received payouts and community donations. Several other lawsuits are similar to these.
The critics question, "When is it enough?" - alleging that they gave and the survivors received, and all should be happy - wanting no more. They have thrown the word "greed" into the mix.
The word I throw back is "judgment." It is not our job to judge these people.
I too have lost someone, my brother. Jeff died nine years ago of a massive heart attack. So, I know loss. But, to compare my pain to that of a Hotshot family is apples and oranges; I cannot imagine the magnitude of their loss.
Further, what anyone does with what they receive is none of our business. It depends upon the motives - motives that we do not know and may never comprehend.
For some it may not be about money. One plaintiff could be suing to make sure this never happens again. Someone else may believe the payout did not account for that Hotshot's earning potential over the next 40 years.
At the same time, we have learned that some who have received money cannot bring themselves to spend it.
Similarly, we are not to judge the corporation that gives $100,000 versus the child lemonade stand that produces $25.43 for the effort.
Don't concern yourself. To do so, weakens the fabric of community; and, to judge someone does not define that person, it defines you.