Be Your Best Self: Lessons From Hurricane Harvey

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It is said that crisis brings out the best in us, and that certainly was–and is–true in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

To mention just a few examples: neighbors forming a human chain to get a pregnant woman in labor out of her apartment; the owner of a second-hand military truck who rescued over 300 residents; the CEO of a cell-phone drying company who drove from Denver to Houston with a generator, two drying machines and phone charging stations to dry and power up phones for free; three Mexican bakers who baked hundreds of loaves of bread for Harvey victims.

At no time did any of these selfless, wonderfully compassionate people stop to ask: “Oh, wait a minute. Are you Christian? Muslim? Jewish? Gay? Lesbian? Straight? Transgender? Pro-Trump? Anti-Trump? African-American? Hispanic? Caucasian? Asian? Democrat? Republican? Pro NRA? Anti-NRA?” before lending a helping hand to whoever was in need.

There’s nothing like a crisis of this magnitude to remind us that we’re all in this together. That our individual survival and well-being matters, regardless of our beliefs, gender or the color of our skin. That we are, fundamentally, well-meaning, generous and courageous human beings.

Hurricane Harvey has taught us valuable lessons in human behavior, but there is no need to wait for a crisis to remember our common humanity. We can, if we so choose, to demonstrate it in simple, everyday ways that will add immeasurably to our lives and those of others.

How? Simply smile at somebody, anybody, regardless of race, gender, color or creed-be they a co-worker, stranger, cashier, barista, bus driver, salesperson, whoever-smile. It’s a guaranteed feel-good to all concerned, costs nothing and takes no time at all. Open the door for someone, doesn’t matter who-young or old, brown, pink or purple-spotted. Compliment someone–their smile, that cool saying on their t-shirt, how well they maneuvered into a parking space. It can make that person’s day.

You can also take it further. Help someone across the street, put change in a parking meter that looks like it’s expiring, give up your place in line to someone who seems anxious or in a hurry. The many ways to lend a helping hand are limited only by your imagination and your desire to make a change.

Don’t wait for another Hurricane Harvey. Be your best self today, every day, and enjoy the happiness it will bring you and others in this our wonderful, if often challenging, world.

write by Vera

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