Faith in humanity

I’m so glad I don’t live in Atlanta. All I can say about the snowstorm there is: Holy crap. I’m not going to lay any blame, but I am going to point out that when disasters hit, the best comes out in people.

Dina Gundersen and her family were home in Smyrna, all warm and toasty, but they could see the traffic nightmare behind their house on the East-West Connector, a four-lane highway that runs northwest of Atlanta. Cars were piling up, slipping and sliding. As the night wore on, the couple and a group of neighbors decided to jump in and help.

They collected everything in their pantries, from English muffins to Rice Krispies treats and bottled water around their neighborhood. Then about a dozen of them convoyed in four cars and brought their treats to the roadway.

Gundersen and a neighbor went one way; the rest of the group the other way. She and her neighbor gave out food and water. Then they started to help cars that were heading west turn around so they could use the eastbound section of the road, which was empty. But it meant backing cars past a median so they could cut across the road.

Gundersen even backed the car of one elderly motorist who had trouble seeing at night. The neighbors fed and calmed another motorist, a diabetic who hadn’t eaten in six hours. Other neighbors physically pushed cars that were stuck on a hill.

“We thought, ‘What can we do, there are only a few of us, and literally there were thousands of people stuck,” she said. “But what we ended up doing changed the traffic in that section. Otherwise, those people might still be stuck in it.”

This is also why I love this country. We check our tribalism at the door. It took us a long time, but when you think of everyone as an American, and not a person of a different tribe or religion, well, it makes it a lot easier to unite in the face of disaster. I’m not saying that we’re the only country that does this. But that it is the norm for us, not the exception.

Read the whole thing.

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