Natural Disasters as Jump-Starts for Compassion

The title pretty much says it all here. Hurricane Irene caused massive damage in many places, including Brattleboro, VT. But my understanding is that the people’s response to the disaster there is this: helping each other. Volunteers have been cleaning our ruined barns for their neighbors, and in general just showing up on each others’ doorsteps to help out.

This is why I believe that humanity can ultimately overcome the global disaster of climate change that we have created: when things get bad, we start to realize we need to help each other out if we want to survive.

Might we already be past the tipping point of runaway global warming? Maybe. But we have at least a few decades, maybe a century, before the planet becomes uninhabitable, and if the sorts of severe weather events we’ve seen this year continue, I believe more and more communities will begin to deepen their connections to each other in response. Through this deepening, compassion and care can flourish, laying a stronger foundation of cooperative living instead of the competitive model so many people follow now. It’s not too late to help each other survive by moving into a way of life the respects and heals above all else. We have time to become more compassionate stewards of each other and our environment. If we get to it now, we’ll be prepared if the worst comes later.

This entry was posted in civilization, Compassion, Environment, Healing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Natural Disasters as Jump-Starts for Compassion

  1. Sarah Lenz says:

    This is exactly what Rebecca Solnit argues in her book, “A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster.” I’m always recommending books, but you should read it.

  2. cmdrquack says:

    Thanks for the recommendation!

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