Legacy of Sandy

The past few days have had me wondering about the things we leave our children with. Not just the physical objects, but also the lessons that we teach them. There seems to be a huge interest in the material world as shown by the commercials on our television sets, which are also engaged in wars of ideas during this election season. But then we are confronted with things like the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and our comforts become a lot more important than election politics for quite a few of us.

Sandy, make no mistake, is an important thing to think about — especially for those who are dealing with the cold because they have no electricity to help heat their homes. But the storm shows us in stark relief the need to establish a legacy of things that cannot be taken away as well. It has brought out both the best and worst in people and forced neighbors to have to work together in ways that they might not have before Sandy struck. It has also forced to the surface a divide in our country between those who are for “privatizing” relief efforts and those who say the government has a large role of its own to play.

What are we going to do for those who have completely lost their homes? Do we tell them the same things that the survivors of Katrina were told or do we change the tune for the suffering survivors of Sandy? It is now recognized that storm surges can devastate homes built not just in swampland, but on bedrock. Storm surge can decimate transportation for days, if not weeks. It will also make things interesting in the longer run as people attempt a return to normalcy in the future.

What level of normalcy do we leave for our children in the aftermath of something like this?

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