Top of Mind Thursday September 13 2018: Come Together Right Now, Over Me
On Tuesday, we marked the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack, which killed nearly 3000 Americans. Next week, we mark the one year anniversary of Hurricane Maria, which killed nearly as many people in Puerto Rico.
Each of these events was a tragedy in its own right. They included massive death, destruction, and disruption of every day life. The communities that weathered these events will never be the same.
Today, nearly a million people are fleeing in advance of the powerful Hurricane Florence, expected to hit the Carolinas with a force not previously seen. Hopefully, lessons learned from last year will result in fewer injuries and less loss of life–even if there is massive destruction of property.
In the midst of all this chaos and disruption, we invariably see examples of not just the dedication of first responders, but the goodness of ordinary people, and the kindness of strangers.
When a disaster strikes, it jolts us out of life-as-usual mode, forcing us to focus on what’s really important, what we really value, what can’t be replaced. Disaster is also a great equalizer. Hurricanes don’t avoid wealthy enclaves, and all the money and prestige in the world is no match for Category 4 winds or a terrorist explosion.
I expect that in the aftermath of this week’s hurricane, we will hear a multitude of stories of incredible compassion, courage, and strength. We will marvel at the individuals who shine under these circumstances. We will put aside our differences and help one another.
If only we could channel this energy without a disaster. We could come together, not just right now, but on a regular basis.
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