During the month of November, many people do a “30 Days of Thankful” as part of their Thanksgiving celebration. Each day people recount one thing in their life that they are thankful for. I think this November, in the Northeast, this is a particularly useful activity.

Where I live, we were lucky to not feel much of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath. However, like many people, I know several people in the Long Island, NYC, NJ coast and surrounding areas. The devastation these areas have experienced is just heartbreaking. It really, truly puts your life in perspective for you.

The relief I felt last night upon, finally, receiving a text message from a friend on Long Island that she and her family were all right, and just without power, was astronomical. I can’t imagine how others, who fared far worse, are doing. I’ve seen pictures of a neighborhood in Queens burned to the ground, the area around Ground Zero was turned into a lake, subways and tunnels full to the ceiling with water. People in Hoboken who are trapped in their homes due to flood water, families in Connecticut salvaging everything they could – in a canoe – and paddling down the street.

Perspective.

However, the humanity that’s come out of this situation is so incredibly amazing, and reassuring. First responders – some of whom lost their own homes in the storm – out helping others to get to safety. I saw a picture yesterday of a house with power who put extension cords and outlet expansion packs out on the sidewalk so passers by might charge their phones to call their families.  People selflessly helping people when one of the biggest metropolitan areas on earth is brought to its knees.

Today, I am thankful for the brighter side of humanity. I am thankful for the inherent selflessness that is in each person, if they dig deep enough and reach past their own fears and problems to see life from a different perspective.

If you would like to help – please consider making a donation (money, clothing, blood, whatever you can) to the Red Cross.

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