What I learned from Hurricane Sandy

As New York and the whole Eastern United States recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, those of us who are still around should be grateful and extremely humbled by nature.

The damage is unprecedented in the History of New York and besides many lives and limbs being lost, there are so many who are now homeless, without power and many are cold and hungry. With all of this misery and devastation it is heartwarming to see the outpouring of love and generosity among human beings.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

It is sad that it takes these kinds of disasters to bring out the innate goodness that we as human beings possess, but it is also reassuring. In times of need, we reach out to perfect strangers to lend a helping hand and offer a warm meal or even a bottle of water.

New Yorkers should be highly complimented in the way they are buckling down and trying to pick up the pieces and move on and in so doing being there for those who have lost so much. In such dire circumstances, they have not resorted to looting and rioting in the streets in large numbers.

Instead many neighborhood agencies and church bodies have been rallying to reach out and provide hot meals and some amount of clothing while waiting on the major relief organizations, like Red Cross and FEMA to get to those in need. It is a very daunting task and unlike the “bum rap” that New Yorkers get, we have been extremely patient.

Amidst all the chaos and frustration, can you imagine being an immigrant without a green card? You may be moving from weekend to weekend from one relative to another while working during the week at a live-in job or far away from home. How do your relatives from your home country get information about you? Who do they contact to get word as to whether you are still alive?

During times of crisis and natural disasters, we all suffer tremendously and I can honestly say that if someone is an immigrant without legal rights, their plights are multiplied many times over.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, if you or a loved one has been affected by Hurricane Sandy, my prayers are with you and may you continue to be strong and brave to deal with whatever lies ahead in the recovery process.