Coming together, like in the times of a disaster

I was very blessed during Tropical Storm Harvey in that I had no flooding, didn’t lose water, internet, nor electricity. I only lost a bit of sleep due to rain noise and gained a small stain on a ceiling with no idea where the water actually came from. Very blessed indeed. However, many of my neighbors,especially  to the south, sustained a lot of damage. In fact, it blows my mind to see entire city sections, I frequently drive through, entirely submerged in water.

Yet, just like in any time of disaster, it is so refreshing to come across dozens of stories how people went out of their way to help each other out. From the Cajun Navy all the way to a human chain for a woman in labor. What a stark contrast to the last week’s displays of hate in Charlottesville. Houston is a very diverse city and so it was marvelous to see what made America such a great country in the first place.

That made me think … what can be done to bring the uniting behaviors seen front and center in the time of disaster to the times of presumable peace?

Obviously it’s not a simple answer, but I think a great start point is reminding myself how easy it is for possessions to separate us. When we lose things like our shelter, it makes it easier on us to reach out for and provide help. When we are worried about water creeping in ever closer to our apartment complex, it gets us outside and enables vulnerablity with our neighbors.

While I am not for immediate giveaway of ALL my possessions nor am I praying for more destruction upon myself next time, the important question I will ask myself when making the next purchase is whether it will bring me closer or farther to others.

What are your thoughts? What is the one small thing you can do to cultivate genuine connection?


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  1. ‘… what can be done to bring the uniting behaviors seen front and center in the time of disaster to the times of presumable peace?’ It’s one of the questions I’ve been asking myself too. I believe that we need more ‘organic’ contact, face to face conversations, space for exploring and expressing our feelings and being open up to (re)build communities….Easier said than done, but I believe it can be done. I’ll give you an example. Each time I moved , I made an effort to try to meet my neighbours, at least those who I shared my walls with, have friendly chats, share food with them. I’ve also given cards on different occasions or festivals, even to those I didn’t meet in person. Once I sent (=left on the doorstep) Christmas cards to every single family in a block of flats I was living in and that led to, apart from getting a card from everyone too, to friendly banters, helping out with moving furniture or just having a cup of tea at one another’s homes. Little things, but I really believe that those every day tiny steps bring people closer together and build strong, local communities.

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