Last week I wrote about how dependence on the government is a poisonous mindset that is crippling America and her potential. And while many in this country do have that mindset, the response to the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey have demonstrated that the vast majority of Americans do not.

And nothing could make me happier.

We’ve seen countless stories of heroic, self-sacrificing individuals, putting their own lives on the line to help their neighbors. We’ve seen millions of dollars pour into relief efforts from across the country. We’ve seen people risking life and limb, running into the face of danger because someone needed help.

Nobody had to tell them to do it. Nobody had to pass a law through Congress. Nobody had to offer incentives. When push comes to shove, Americans can and will take care of themselves and their neighbors.

The problem is, so often, they aren’t even given the chance. Politicians get into office with this warped understanding of what government is supposed to do. And as a result, we have a grossly overgrown government trying to take care of each and every tiny part of its citizen’s lives.

I would argue that most Americans don’t even know how independent they could be. Most Americans don’t know how wonderful it is to not have to depend on the government in some way, shape, or form.

Independence, with individual responsibility is the most attractive, satisfying, fulfilling way to live. When people get a taste of it, they’re hooked.

Yet when government steps out of its proper boundaries, people don’t have a chance to experience true independence. Big government breeds dependence, which necessitates a bigger government, which breeds more dependence.

It’s a vicious cycle. But it’s events like Hurricane Harvey that shake us out of this mindset, and show us what we are truly capable of.

The government has a proper role. And thankfully it is fulfilling that role pretty well in this situation. However, it is our job to stand watchful, to make sure it stays in that proper role.