Nature’s Wrath and the Best and Worst of People

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.

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.

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Knickerbocker February 14, 2013 at 05:38 PM
Howard you are making absolutely no sense now. You are stating two different scenarios and unfairly blended them together to make some irrational point. On one hand you are talking about neighbors helping each other for free (and that is commendable) and on the other hand fearsly criticizing this business man trying to earn a living. Two different scenarios. Might I add again, given the nature of the storm this was not price gouging – maybe a little high, but given the testimony of some professionals who chimed in – not unreasonable. How do you know that this drive-by plow guy wasn't also helping his neighbor for free hours before, wherever he lived, or an elderly relative and now was on road again trying to pick up more business? For a person stating “We do the things we do because we want to - not for recognition.” You and others on this site are certainly doing a lot of yapping of how great you all are for doing your once in a blue moon good deed. Leave this guy alone and end it already!
meowkats4 February 14, 2013 at 06:03 PM
Famous American Words are: "What's in it for ME"
Emily February 14, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Mike, That is the point exactly. It would be nice if people did the right thing but unless forced they usually don't. Look at the grocery stores before any storm. People that haven't eaten bread all year have a shopping cart full. They don't need all that bread just like they don't need a seperate room for each member of the family."Price Gougeing" levels the playing field and makes it so everyone gets some and no-one takes it all.
Guilford Girl February 14, 2013 at 09:16 PM
I gladly paid two hundred dollars to the people who came with not only a plow truck with a sander, but a bucket loader to dig me out, I couldn't have been happier to see them or to pay them.( And it wasn't until late Wednesday ) The equipment is expensive to own and keep up, not to mention fuel. And the hours are lousy! So until you have been in the drivers seat of a plow vehicle perhaps the complainers should put up, or keep quiet and shovel to their hearts content.
Guilford Girl February 14, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Not to mention that this was the LARGEST blizzard to hit the state since 1880, No one has the equipment to deal with that.


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