Valuable Life Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

In the midst of what is being called one of the devastating events in history, unexpected opportunities to connect with loved ones and help those in need can be seen all around us.

From the moment the monumental storm ripped through our area on Monday night, we saw that there really is a powerful force out there that is much larger than ourselves.  As my children and I sat in our home Monday evening with our eyes glued to the news on television as we listened to the wind howling through the trees, I had the vivid realization that everyone was connected by this one single event.  That we were all in this together hoping and praying for the best.

Throughout the violent storm and its devastating aftermath, many have invariably ceased focusing on their busy lives to observe countless others in need.  We see numerous postings on Facebook and on other websites informing of gas stations that have gas available and where donations are needed.

Those who were fortunate enough to have power welcomed friends and family into their homes where they were able to keep warm, cook and eat their meals, do laundry, and charge their cell phones and laptops.

Perhaps what is most important is the unexpected opportunity to spend time with friends and family without other distracting obligations.  My children were lucky enough to have their uncle spend time in our home playing video games with them and making them laugh.  I know of many others who welcomed family members and friends into their homes where their children played together and the adults got to catch up on each other’s lives.

People are connecting in new and creative ways.  A close friend of mine posted her observation on Facebook that on Halloween, groups of families on her street gathered together and had “trunk or treat” as festive music played.  Each family had brought food and the kids played as they ran around with flashlights and made new friends, going car to car to collect their “treats.”

As I observed all this, I saw that along with experiencing and observing the extreme hardships caused by Hurricane Sandy, we can allow ourselves to be grateful for what we do have, family and friends, and even electricity!  We can experience the unexpected opportunity to connect with those who we don’t see as often as we’d like.

These are valuable lessons that we often lose sight of as we move through our daily busy lives.  But even without a hurricane to remind us, we can choose to remember that we are all connected by similar struggles, that we can be grateful for who and what we have in our lives, and that we can always help those in need.

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