Showing posts from November, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Update: Cups full of coffee and hearts full of empathy

In the midst of the terrifying chaos brought on by Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and New York---property destruction, psychological trauma, seemingly relentless hardship brought on by power outages, gas shortages and death---the emergence of basic human kindness is the one thing that can be counted on. At the center of many of the acts of kindness has been the offer of warmth, both in the form of refuge from the cold and a hot cup of coffee. Over and over that offer is made---on facebook, via email, and in person. Volunteers drive to stricken areas around the Rockaways, Staten Island and the Jersey shore with large vats of hot coffee and hearts full of sympathy. When coffee is offered person to person, the underlying sincerity in that gesture belies the immensity of that act. What is being said is the following: “Come into my home and share space and resources with us. Use my water and our toilets. Shower and use clean towels. Sleep on our sheets, rest in our beds and close t