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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Superstorm Musings October 30, 2012

Along with millions of others, I have been glued to CNN watching the progress of the storm from the safety of my home in Arizona. My thoughts are with my friends and relatives who were in harm’s way and who now still are without power and fearful of falling debris. I am relieved that so many are safe and warm at home with plenty of provisions to keep themselves fed and comfortable. My heart goes out to those who remain fearful of the near future, caregivers who are confined with their loved ones who are unable to receive the services that are temporarily halted by the aftermath of the storm.

Please, if you know of families near you in the area affected by the storm, who are older or caring for a dependent child, parent or spouse, please check to make sure they have the basic necessities to get through this time when transportation and other services are minimal. The closest recollection I have is to blizzard conditions in New York and in New Jersey when power was out due to wire damage from downed trees. It was heartening then to see people working together to help each other and share flashlight batteries and radio information as we all wanted to know when the power would return so we would know if our refrigerated and frozen food would last.

Does proximity breed empathy? Am I more concerned about the Superstorm because I have personally lived in two of the states affected and have relatives and friends all along the east coast? Am I more concerned about natural disasters which occur in countries I have visited where I feel a personal connection to the people concerned than I was last summer when the tornadoes devastated the Midwest where I have never visited and where I do not have friends or family who live there? Is there a mental health switch imbedded within us that limits that concern so that we can function within our own lives? We could become consumed with depressive thoughts if we constantly dwelled on our concerns for others’ suffering. Once again, there is a balance I strive for in my life. I have checked on those I could reach, I have watched the news, now I must turn off CNN and go on about my day.

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