Often times, it takes tragedy for us to reconnect to our human emotions, and with each other. It takes shock and awe for us to put aside our differences and focus on what we have in common.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

As the East coast suffers through one of the worst hurricane seasons ever recorded, much of the West coast is on fire, with nearly 80 separate wildfires burning and releasing heavy smoke into the atmosphere.

The largest earthquake in over a century just struck Mexico, only to be followed by Hurricane Katia.

We are still in the early stages of recovering from Hurricane Harvey, and Irma continues to devastate the southeast. Needless to say, schools have been cancelled. Many do not know when they will re-open. In times like these, grades are not important. Test scores are irrelevant. Homework? Forget about it.

But the community surrounding a school has never been more important. That community will feed each other, find shelter for their neighbor, provide comfort to one another. They will reminisce together, they will cry together, and they will rebuild together.

Often times, it takes tragedy for us to reconnect to our human emotions, and with each other. It takes shock and awe for us to put aside our differences and focus on what we have in common.

But it’s not enough to reserve this behavior for tragedies, which afflict our country with increasingly alarming regularity.

The entrenchment and division seen in the wake of Charlottesville or the decision to rescind DACA is that same division that halts progress on education, climate change, and healthcare.

We will never bridge these gaps until we rebuild our emotional foundation.

The residents of Texas and Florida have exemplified the best in us following tragedy. We’ve witnessed rescue workers, police officers, and everyday citizens risk their own safety to carry the elderly out of their homes and wade through deep waters to get children to safety. We’ve seen an outpouring of support throughout the country by way of kind words, donations, and care packages.

Regardless of where these tragic events occur, we must recognize the American tragedy we are all suffering through and tap into the same energy.

Our problems have become too great to tackle as individuals, as races, as religions, as political parties.

Only together can we rebuild understanding, trust, and empathy. Without them, the physical structures may be rebuilt, but the communities will not.

Only together, can we Move This World.


Sara Potler LaHayne

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


The Way These Small Groups Mobilized To Help After Hurricane Florence Gives Us Hope For Humanity

by Nora Battelle
adriaticfoto / Shutterstock
Thriving in the New Normal//

COVID-19 Is Challenging the World to Be Kinder

by Sarah Friar, Cynthia Bissett Germanotta

What The Lessons Of 9/11 Can Teach Us About Recovering From Hurricane Trauma

by Drake Baer

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.