I have spent the past 3 days or so observing many of my friends react and respond to "Snowlanta." Many of these friends have looked to place blame on this person or that person. It is true that we were not prepared in a variety of ways for this week. However, I would like to focus this blog on a small segment of my friends - the few who posted about the amazing Southern Hospitality that they witnessed. Whether these brave souls were referred to as "Good Samaritans" or just good people...these are the people I believe we should focus our attention on.
When I was out and about on Wednesday, checking on different streets to see if there were any people I could help, I saw so many wonderful people out pushing cars, giving people rides, allowing people to sit in their warm cars, etc. There was so much goodness...so many great acts from people who were complete strangers the day before. When it came down to it - these were fellow Atlantans who either needed help or wanted to help others...or both!
I think back to September 2001 when all of us were glued to our televisions as we watched New Yorkers hand in hand walk together and help each other along. I am reminded of those who did everything they could to help those victims in Boston...and the millions of Americans who sent money and other items to the Northeast after Hurricane Sandy. The truth is that it is very easy to blame governmental officials...it is harder and means more to instead turn our focus on those who are out there doing what they can to help in the recovery of the moment.
I say to all of you - let us turn our attention to making sure that every one who needs help is helped. Once the Atlanta I love gets back to "normal," then we can begin to talk about how we can prevent something like Carmageddon from happening again. Let us not point fingers at who did or did not do this. Instead, let us come together to make sure we are prepared in the future.
Stay safe, stay warm. Thank God for all of those out there who put their necks on the line to help. Thank you to Home Depot, Kroger, Publix, Target, Rite Aid, Chick Fil-A and countless other businesses who remained open havens for people who needed a warm and safe place to sleep. Let us learn from their example!
Rabbi Erin Boxt