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Be Your Best Self: Lessons from Hurricane Harvey
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.
To mention 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?
Nelson explains, "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."
Nelson believes Harvey has taught us valuable lessons in human behavior. "There's no need to wait for a crisis to remember our common humanity," she says. "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? Nelson suggests "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."
You can also take it further, she says. "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.
"Don't wait for another 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."
Follow: @drnoellenelson (https://twitter.com/