Nothing like a disaster to remind us what matters in life
The sense of camaraderie is awesome.
I am struck by the human spirit and how people rise up, come together, and wake up for a moment from our mental routines to actually be present to one another.
I so well recall the vulnerable raw authenticity of the “how are you?” conversations with strangers in the subway for weeks after 911.
Jonathan Katz writes about being in Port-au-Prince after the Haiti mega-quake…saying that the sense of community didn’t just unravel, but became stronger in the weeks after the quake, with people across Haiti putting aside political squabbles and deep-rooted differences of class and race to support one another.
Rebecca Solnit writes in her 2009 book A Paradise Built in Hell, recounts the way people in disasters from Katrina to the 1985 Mexico City earthquake to a 1917 ship explosion in Halifax, Nova Scotia, showed their best qualities in the wake of disasters.
To all affected by Sandy, I hope you and your families are safe.
And to all the rest of us:
- Maximize this unique moment by stepping out a little further right now – make a positive difference in whatever way speaks to you, lend a hand to a neighbor or a stranger in need, or just be that much more present to those around you.
- Let this moment of awakeness to the human spirit wash over us.
- May we take note of how it feels and what it brings out in us.
- Keep that note as testament to what is already in us.
- Bring awareness, attention and reminders in your life to drawing this out and bringing it more fully to life in your everyday life.
Photo from inhabitat.
author: Meredith Haberfeld