As the power comes back for most of New York, New Jersey and other places riven by Hurricane Sandy, residents still feel understandably powerless. More than a hundred people are dead because of the storm, but the number of people who have suffered that common euphemism for death--loss of life--can't be accurately counted. Life in this Western sense--relative security, dependable shelter, rudimentary services like heat and electricity, food, transportation and the concomitant ability to work and earn wages--was stripped away from hundreds of thousands of people. Even though the storm surprised no one--warnings about it were ubiquitous--still in most cases little could be done to prevent the destruction.
Our best hopes go out to everyone affected by the storm. And our unceasing gratitude goes out to volunteers who have come from all corners of the country to help, since help is all there is to do. A volunteer from Missouri removing a tree from a house in Connecticut reveals the heights of human instinct when, being thanked, he replies it is no problem--I was here for the storm last year too. The recovery will take a long time. It will devolve into bickering and accusations of unfairness, some of them no doubt true. We will do well to remember that the hurricane chose its victims at random--it was not sent at the behest of lobbyists working for one group or another. It simply came, it saw, it conquered. We will have to work to win back the world we want. We wish everyone some peace along the way.
--The Editors, NYC, November 5, 2012
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