(WTVM) - It’s odd to think that a major hurricane can bring us closer together.
But big, traumatic events can do that.
The same week that we marked the 17th anniversary of 9/11, probably the biggest trauma for the nation in modern times, Hurricane Florence began her rush at the Carolina coastline.
A hurricane is not the same as a deadly terrorist attack, but it does remind us that we often can’t control events.
By now we can see the results of Florence. The chaos and damage and misery that comes from extreme weather is never good news.
Hurricanes are events that suddenly remind us we’re all vulnerable to nature and we’re all in this together.
Social scientists have proven large scale traumas do create a more loving and accepting attitude among us than might normally be on display.
That would be very welcome now, in our unfortunately very divided country.
It takes a hurricane to grab the spotlight away from the steady cable and network news diet of national politics, if even for a just few days.
The hurricane became a uniting event. As it got closer to landfall, we became more concerned for each other, considering true life and death questions: like how will survivors cope with no power and did enough people get out while they could?
This willingness to look outside ourselves is called empathy and we need it, especially now.
Empathy is making a donation to the American Red Cross for hurricane victims you’ve never met.
Empathy is volunteering to travel to the hurricane zone to give aid. Empathy is behind every effort to mobilize resources to help storm victims, like the trucks Georgia and Alabama Power send to the Carolinas to help restore electricity.
Big events like a hurricane do bring us together.
Of course, we never wish for tragedies or bad things to happen.
But when difficult times do arrive, the best parts of our human nature seem to come out and it’s comforting to know we can turn to each other for support and understanding.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906
Copyright 2018 WTVM. All rights reserved.