A reminder of our better natures

Published 5:03 pm Thursday, October 4, 2018

Although September 2018 will be remembered as a difficult time for Beaufort County, there is a silver lining in the clouds of Hurricane Florence — the past few weeks have brought out the best in us.

It has been a time when communities have come together to rally around the needs of those impacted. The past three weeks have seen people helping people, and tireless work on the part of individuals, agencies and nonprofits to help get people’s worlds back to normal.

Politically, Hurricane Florence has brought about a cohesion that is rare in the halls of power in Raleigh and Washington. Whether Democrats and Republicans can agree on much else, the two groups have been willing to set aside partisan bickering, if only for a moment, to help get North Carolina back on its feet.

Shorty after the storm, Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper met together in Craven County to assess the damage left behind by the storm. Regardless of one’s opinion on either of the two politicians, their meeting was indicative of a willingness to set aside political differences in the face of disaster.

As volunteers set out to distribute food, water and supplies to those impacted by the storm, no one was asking who voted for who or what party shows up on their voter registration cards. No one cared about a person’s position on one political issue or another, because it simply didn’t matter. What mattered is that someone needed help and someone else was willing to give it.

Natural and manmade disasters, from Hurricane Florence to 9-11, tend to be events that unite people in the face of adversity. They are times when our state and national leaders come together to do what needs to be done.

While we hope that Beaufort County, North Carolina and the United States do not have to deal with any such disasters anytime soon, we should strive to capture this spirit of good will and good works as we move back towards the normal state of affairs.

It would be good to see a sense of cooperation and collaboration to solve the everyday problems North Carolinians face. It would be nice to have neighbor helping neighbor and forgetting about politics every once in a while. Although this storm has brought untold pain to the Carolinas, it has also done something else — reminded us that we can be better than the status quo. In some ways, it has reminded us of our better natures.