There are certain people in this World who are natural helpers. They see a need and, without ever being asked, they take to action. You know these people. The house guest who cleans up the kitchen as if it were their own. The co-worker who picks up coffee for everyone when getting it for themselves. The stranger who changes your flat tire in a flash and then goes on his way. The friend who brings you soup when you are sick or weary. Some children exhibit this tendency from the get go. They chip in and even ask to be included saying: let me help!
In the wake of a disaster like Hurricane Sandy, the helpers come out in force. They open their doors, they offer their hands, they reach out and take action. It appears that they don’t even think about it, their instinct is so strong.
I bow down to these people and am most grateful for their ability to organize ways for all of us to help. Because sometimes I can become paralyzed by the question of how. I have this helping desire but I don’t know what to do with it. Enter charities, community leaders and individual citizens who tell me exactly where to put my efforts and how. They guide me and allow me to do something so I can quell this helplessness and channel it into some small token of goodness.
Witnessing the destruction caused by this storm has been heart wrenching. But in the days following the storm I have witnessed many benevolent people working hard to try and make a difference. Those directly affected have shown their resilience and strength. I am not wearing rose colored glasses. I have also seen cruelty, judgment and neglect. Just as Nature can show us both beauty and devastation, humanity can show us both kindness and harshness.
This makes the true helper even more distinctive. They help because they care, not because they should. It is compassion, not obligation. The spirit behind the giving matters and gives me further cause to celebrate those who offer themselves so genuinely.
As I write this the sun is rising on a beautiful crisp day. I know there might be a storm brewing and I know that there are people waking up to cold and despair. Whatever the future holds, I know this for sure: the helpers of the World will be working tirelessly to make it better. For this, I am grateful beyond measure. Thank you.