In the wake of Hurricane Igor landing on (and decimating parts of) Newfoundland, Lana Payne, the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour had this to share:
Poet William Wordsworth encouraged us to let nature be our teacher. What did nature teach us this past week? Perhaps it reminded us just our fragile life can be. Perhaps it taught us that in the midst of great difficulty humanity and compassion have a way of rising to the top.
It reminded me that in this global age where individualism is often touted over the benefits of the collective, just how wrong-headed that notion is. Because when times are tough, we need each other. We need strong leaders. We need kindness and generosity. We need to help each other and we need to rise to the occasion. That doesn’t happen if in good times we only think of ourselves.
Perhaps nature taught us this week not to take things for granted, not to take our humanity for granted, but to practice compassion each and every day so that it’s not so rusty when it’s really needed.
I notice there’s no mention of needing a god in order to make that work, either. That’s nice to see.
I think in each of us there is a great capacity for compassion and generosity. Maybe tapping into that reservoir isn’t everyone’s automatic response to tragedy but I think the majority of us do find small ways to show we care and give what we can of ourselves as we go about our daily lives. And we never know exactly how it’ll pay off in the end, but it’s worth doing all the same.