The Big Blizzard of 2013 will be remembered for many years or decades to come.
Natural disasters are often used as yardsticks. As I shoveled my driveway, a neighbor asked me “where were you in 1978?” He was referring to the last big blizzard of this type.
There is a story for every person who has endured record-breaking bad weather, from Superstorm Sandy to last weekend’s blizzard.
Hardship can bring out the best in people. In my case, a neighbor stopped by with his truck to plow snow that was 5 feet deep and 30 feet long in the driveway. That was after I had spent 8 hours laboring with a snowblower and shovel. While he did that, I crossed the street to help an elderly neighbor clear a path 40 feet long from his home to the road.
Unfortunately, not everyone with means is so magnanimous as my neighbor with the plow.
When I got in to work this morning, a colleague of mine recounted how her elderly parents were trapped in their home, and grateful when someone came along and offered to plow their driveway. For $200. And it was a small driveway – only long and wide enough to hold two cars. Nonetheless, the helpless couple was grateful.
This is a reminder of how little it takes to help someone out of a jam. It is also a reminder of how some people have no compunction about preying on the most defenseless of individuals.
Perhaps the man who did the $200 snow job on the seniors was pleased with himself for “helping out” as he counted his cash and drove on to the next victims’ homes.
Would he have done the same if his parents were in the same situation? What makes someone like that tick?
While we prefer to remember the kindness of most people after a tragedy, one can’t help but see an image of one’s parents or other friends or relatives at the mercy of an unscrupulous individual.