It’s been a long and scary day here in Massachusetts. One, or maybe two, tornadoes touched down on Cape Cod. We saw roofs blown off, power taken out, trees uprooted, roads blocked.
And of course we saw dozens of people stepping up to help their neighbors, their friends, and total strangers.
It got me thinking.
When the storms blow in, and everyday life is turned completely on its head, we humans immediately become our best selves. We bring each other water, and give each other food. We pull the trees off of our neighbor’s houses and we offer to share our generators.
I’ve seen it.
In 2008, a huge ice storm hit this part of New England. My street was without power for nine days. But our neighbors across town offered hot showers, a place to do laundry and a community meal. Our neighbors across the street emptied their swimming pool into barrels and brought them around to all of us who couldn’t flush our toilets because our water runs on an electrically operated pump.
We shared food, wood stoves, water, chain saws. It was wonderful and awful at the same time.
Disaster mentality. It’s not a bad thing.
So how about this?
How about if we all approach each other as if we were in the middle of a disaster? How about if we look at each other as people, humans, neighbors?
I know that when the power went out, I didn’t ask my neighbors who they were voting for. I didn’t ask their thoughts on immigration or global warming or race relations or anything.
I just asked if they needed anything. They asked me that back.
So wouldn’t it be a wonderful idea if we all decided to think about each other as if we’re in the middle of a major disaster? If we could ask each other, “What do you need?” or “What will help you?” instead of asking how we feel about Medicare for all?
I don’t know if it would help.
But it couldn’t be worse than what we are doing right now. It couldn’t be worse than judging each other by which T shirt we are wearing.
What do you think?