If you're at all like me, you've likely been glued to the news and social media feeds covering the devastating event known as Hurricane Harvey that has flooded parts of Texas, displacing thousands and killing many. If you're at all like me, you're heartbroken over it.
One of the most beautiful, inspiring, hope inducing things I've seen throughout this horrible situation, and frankly, in a long time, is the way that finally, differences stopped mattering. We all became human again, at our most basic level. Someone trying to survive, keep breathing, save their family and loved ones. Someone that can hurt, cry, love, despair. Finally, when lives are on the line at the hands of something larger than us, we can come together to save one another. It's no secret that we've been living in a divided country for some time now. We all know it, we all can feel it, we all see it on the news day in and day out, and it's awful. I hate that it took something this devastating to remember how to "love thy neighbor" again. But we did. And we need to continue to do so. The images of ordinary citizens risking their lives to save those of others are powerful. And it's my truest hope that when the flooding subsides and things start to inch towards normal again that they aren't forgotten. From the moment the storm hit it has been politicized, and will continue to be even more so, but we need to let this serve as a reminder that we truly are stronger together, stronger when we love instead of hate, stronger when we help instead of hurt.
Let this also not just serve as a reminder of our strength, but of our place and duty as well. Natural disasters of this magnitude never cease to amaze me. Often for the destruction they cause, but also because it let's me remember how small we are as humans. How big the universe is, how many forces there are at work. I'm reminded that nature is a powerful thing, and that we cannot stop it. I'm reminded that this planet is ours to love and protect, and the more we try to fight it the more it will fight back. I'm not a particularly religious or spiritual person, but it's hard to write it off completely when things like this happen. We are in a time of constant fighting, turmoil, technological growth, hatred, mass destruction and division. Let this incredibly powerful event remind us to love one another, help one another, save one another (and the planet). Do not let that end when this ends. And do not sit idly back now. Donate. Help. Give blood. Do whatever you can to stand by your fellow humans as they suffer unimaginable loss. Please.
Here are some ways you can help, from wherever you are, with whatever you have.
A more comprehensive list of organizations accepting help and donations can be found here
Please comment below if you or a loved one has a particular need, or if you have an organization you would like me to add to this list.