It has been a difficult last month where I live in the eastern United States, and in particular in my home state of New Jersey. The aftermath of the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, which impacted us at the end of October, touched so many lives. Many people suffered through severe property damage, in some cases losing everything they owned. For others, while not being completely displaced from where they live, significant issues needed and still need to be addressed. In the aftermath of the storm, the weather became unseasonably cold, (more December like than early November), meaning those without electrical power not only were in the dark, but were in cold houses. For quite a few – that period lasted ten days to two weeks.

Some were fortunate – like me – not to have suffered really at all. However, I don’t think there really was a single person that didn’t have a family member, friend or neighbor who was significantly impacted. In the face of such destruction and despair, one of the things that emerge is the inner goodness of human beings to help others who are less fortunate. When I turned the page on my Motivations calendar for the month of December, the theme for the month summed up that feeling. The theme for December 2012, is “Caring”. The picture on the calendar shows a furry mother bear with her cubs in close to her as she lies on the ground. Underneath the picture are the words, “The world is a warmer place when we’re there for each other”.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy I saw a lot of people there for each other in so many ways. There are, of course, the first responders who went into areas to rescue people trapped by flood waters or stuck under debris. There were public servants such as police, fire, and rescue personnel that kept things moving as people looked to recover. However, there was far more than this. There was no rhyme or reason to the electrical power situation. It was not uncommon that one area might have power, while the area immediately adjacent to it did not. The electrical companies, facing unprecedented damage, had an impossible task of getting everyone restored to full power at once. That is when small but significant kindnesses continued to emerge. Relatives or friends that had power invited those without power to stay with them. The village near where I lived, and its many establishments, had their staff working non-stop to make sure that residents had food, warmth, a place to charge up their electrical devices, and a place to just get away from the cold and darkness of their homes for a little while.

While there were the physical actions that people took on behalf of others in need, sometimes that warmth for others came in just being there to commiserate with your neighbor or an acquaintance you met on the street. While there might have been little you could do physically for them at that moment, just allowing another to express their thoughts, hearing what they were saying, and offering encouragement that they were doing their best to weather the hardships they were experiencing helped to get them through.

For my area of the country, and in particular for the people of my state, this to me is the event having the most impact since September 11, 2001. While that event was terrorism inspired, and this was from a natural disaster, there was similarity in many feelings. Why had it happened? There was a tendency to make each move tentatively in the days that followed the event that had impacted our lives. It was apparent that an adjustment would need to be made by each of us to what might best be referred to as “the new normal”. It took quite a bit of time to recover both physically and emotionally from September 11, 2001, and it will also take a long time to recover completely from this event. The ability to do so however, will be far easier if we remember our natural tendencies of how we reacted toward each other in the immediate response to the tragedy. Our true nature is to care for and about each other, and we need to continue that “caring spirit” as we go forward each day of our lives.

Author's Bio: 

Tony Calabrese of Absolute Transitions provides suggestions, approaches and information on how you can find a new job, move up to a new position, or change your career. To get his free report, "Overcoming Obstacles to Change Your Life" visit