Will We Learn Anything From A Holiday Season Marred By Disaster And Violence?

Sandy Relief

As is does every year, Thanksgiving, kicked off the start of the holiday season in the US.  It signifies a return to colder weather, traditional holiday shows, Christmas Lights and Chanukah Menorahs and the season of giving.  It’s a time when most people think of others and how fortunate they are for everything they have, despite the difficulties many are facing.  This year however, has been somewhat different.  It’s lacked that festive, joyous feeling associated with the holidays.  Although Hurricane Sandy occurred two months ago, many people are still not back in their homes.  Many friends are living in construction zones with no walls and no furniture.  There are still people without heat, hoping against hope it will return before the first cold snap.  The 12.12.12 concert was a reminder of just how much still needs to be done.  And yet at the same time we hear of great giving.  In the hardest hit areas there are still people out there delivering food and clothing to those in need.  People from all walks of life and from all over the country have come to help and is a reminder of the good, we as human beings are capable of, when we work together, when we join as one human family.  Then, one week ago, the festive season was again marred by the most unspeakable violence anyone could imagine.  Twenty young, innocent children murdered along with six adults.  No matter how hard one might try to hold on to the normalcy and happiness of the holiday season, it’s impossible as we watch tiny caskets being placed in to hearses.  In the wake of this horror, people have again come together to support and help one another.  But the question that must be answered is, if we are so willing to help and support our neighbors, and fellow citizens, in times of tragedy, why don’t we do the same in times of relative calm?  Why does it take horrific violence or a natural disaster for us to come together?  Those who remember 9-11 will never forget how we bonded as Americans. There was virtually no crime in New York City for weeks.  People, strangers, reached out to one another as if to say, we’re all in this together, let’s help one another.  But unfortunately our memories are short and life will return to normal and lessons will be lost.  It may simply be a dream but all great things that have ever been accomplished started with a dream.

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