Milford Cabinet editorial, Dec. 23, 2008
In the wake of the devastating ice storm and back-to-back blizzards that rocked the state over the past two weeks, we’ve seen several news reports of burglaries, profiteering and bad behavior.
This editorial isn’t about them.
This day, we choose to recall the stories that don’t lead the television news; the small stories that paint a much larger picture of what our communities are all about.
Which stories are these?
You’ve probably heard variations of all of them already. Heck, you’ve most likely been involved in some of them.
This is about the people who offered a shower or a warm bed to neighbors, friends, family members and sometimes even strangers still struggling without power.
And the people who ventured out after the ice storm, chainsaws in hand, and helped clear their own streets.
This is about the people with generators, who, when their power was restored, lent their machines to folks still in the dark down the road (and the folks farther down the road after that).
And the people who, despite their own needs, let the mother with three small children in tow have their place in line at the Laundromat.
This is about the public safety and highway workers who responded to the call of their communities and worked long hours for days on end, keeping us from harm’s way.
And the people who volunteered in shelters and anywhere else they were needed.
This is about the people who still found the time, and the spirit, to prepare holiday food and gift baskets for those in need.
The fact that these storms hit in the heart of the holiday season is coincidental; these acts certainly would be repeated if this adversity befell us in January or any other month.
And, yes, there are jerks – and worse – out there, along with loudmouths whose sense of entitlement makes them believe they belong at the top of every list. But their toxic attitudes have been easily eclipsed by the generosity and neighborliness shown by the majority of the community.
Every instance of neighbor helping neighbor is a link in a great chain that sustains our communities. All of these acts propel us forward and keep us going. Because of these acts, we are greater than the sum of our parts.