By Angela Nuñez
“The great thing about America is that when we go through tough times like this, we all pull together.” President Obama’s encouraging words are a great reminder during such an intense natural disaster. Hurricane Sandy reminds us of what is truly important, as any challenging time tends to do. People’s safety is put above all else and we hunker down with our families and friends to ride out the storms of life. In this week’s discussion post, I mention a New York Times article that explores long life and its contributing factors, time spent with loved ones being one of them.
Amidst all of the election drama and the separation it makes us feel from those whose opinions differ from our own, one good thing about times of crisis is their tendency to remind us that we are all connected and that beyond any political differences, we have the ability to come together when it matters most. A sense of connection contributes to health and wellbeing. Periods of solitude can certainly be restful and rejuvenating, but sharing our lives with the ones we love adds fulfillment to our sense of being. The response to 9/11, for example, was a tremendous coming together of the nation; we must also help each other through this storm and make the best of the difficulties by appreciating one another. One of the Ikarians interviewed for the Times article said, “It’s not a ‘me’ place. It’s an ‘us’ place.” There are, of course, other factors such as diet and napping (yes—napping!), that contribute to the longer-than-average lives of Ikarian residents; however, their strong sense of community seems to be one of the most significant. Sandy gives us a chance to evaluate our priorities and maybe even lengthen our lives a little, or at least increase the quality.