In one hour it will be 12:01am on October 31st, 2012, and it’ll be my 29th birthday. My apartment has no power, no access to internet, and my cell phone has no service. Hurricane Sandy has attacked NYC and the northeast coastlines, and for the past two days normal life has been put on hold.
Last night around 9 o’clock, just minutes after the storm made landfall, my electricity went out and I heard an explosion several blocks away as a massive generator blew out. Since then we’ve lived by candlelight, without any access to the outside world besides a battery-powered radio where we listened to news and Obama’s address. I was briefly able to call my parents using quarters at a pay phone this morning, which is the only time I’ve been able to contact someone…
As I think about the experience of the past few days where everything seemed to slow down and return to a past way of life, here’s what I have learned-
- The things that matter most are your health, your safety, and the well-being of those you love and care for. Everything else comes second.
- Adversity brings us closest together. It’s when we witness and accept our vulnerability that we are kindest and most caring towards others.
- It’s important to shut off every so often. It reminds us of our humanity.
This year for my birthday I was asking for others to help me build a school (http://pencilsofpromise.org/adams29th). People already funded a full classroom, and in light of recent events I’d prefer to keep things simple. I’d just ask that if you read this far, please call or email someone who is in some sort of struggle, and share words of encouragement from the heart. It’s a small gesture, but it helps to heal the difficulties we all endure, and if there’s anything that the past two days, and the past 29 years have taught me, it’s that the single most powerful words we possess are “I love you, and we’re going to get through this together.”