Friday, November 4, 2011

Thoughts on Power

It was an odd week to say the least. First, a freak snowstorm hit us. I should add that I HOPE this is an anomaly and not a portent of Autumns to come. Many in the area are still without power and while most have suffered discomfort, others have had tragedy strike home.

My home lost power from early Sunday morning on through Monday morning. Luckily, even my birds made it through the chilly overnight temperatures unscathed. Some in the area didn't see power until yesterday (Thursday) and the newscasts tell us that there are still about 200,000 in the state without power. I have seen members from my gym and their neighbors booking rooms at the hotels in the area. I even went so far as to go online at work to find a room for a member who just couldn't take another night at home.

The news was even worse for an 86-year old woman named Dorothy Hall of North Brookfield, Mass. who tragically froze to death in her home. She had refused to go into a shelter and the best her 59 year old son could do was to put blankets around her - but to no avail. He was also treated for possible hypothermia at a local hospital. Sadly, news crews interviewed the next door neighbor who said she would have taken them in had she known that they had no heat.

These recent events intersecting with the personal trainer certification journey that I'm on now is where I started thinking about how many times we don't ask for help when we should look to others for assistance. We want to be self-sufficient but quite honestly, we are not all doctors, psychotherapists, nutritionists, auto mechanics, or plumbers. We need other people - professionals and just caring folk alike - to live in this society and we need to know when to ask for help. The old adage that, "It takes a village to raise a child," should have an corollary something to the effect of, "It takes a village to empower a village," with the addendum of, "Each one of us is the village," because as every good salesman/lobbyist/teammate/family knows, it's a numbers game. There is strength in numbers, there are solutions in numbers and all we have to do to gain a numbers' advantage is to let the next person know we're there for them and then to actually be there if they need us.

Maybe we only recognize that we need help when we are looking to survive, but being a part of a community can bring us to actually thrive - to live life as a gift we are grateful to have instead of just waking up at the alarm and hoping to "get through" the next 5 - 12 hours.

I also want to add here that "Friending" people on Facebook and "Following" people on Twitter is NOT what I'm talking about. I believe that one-to-one interaction is still the most powerful tool we have in creating our personal success stories. Think about what we leave out of our blogs, omit from emails and don't post on Facebook but confide in to our closest friends and loved ones. These Social Media/Web 2.0 tools have a place in our lives but when we use them to the point of discarding personal interaction, we lose a chance at being happy without sitting at a keyboard or having an iPhone attached to our hips.

Plus, what happens when the electricity goes out? Like Dorothy Hall, we are stuck in our homes, hoping that something good happens, but what if no one realizes that something bad has happened in the first place? A safe haven was right next door to Ms. Hall but without one-to-one communication, it was never realized.

Don't worry, I know this is a bit more serious than my usual posts but this week has created a slight shift in my personal paradigm and I thought I'd lay out why it's happening than for everyone to say, "Uh - Edie, wt[insert comfortable abbreviation here], girlfriend?" later on.

I'll be catching everyone up on the rest of my stuff soon. In the meantime, stay safe, stay warm, and by all means, stay sane in The Village.

Number 6 is having no fun in The Village

1 comment:

  1. And we were complaining when our temperature dipped to 65 the other day.

    We read about/saw the northeast snow storm but didn't know it hit you. We can relate somewhat as our house is total electric.

    And you are correct. Technology such as email, facebook, tweet, texting, message boards, and even blogging have started to take the place of face to face communication. Guiltily, I have even sent an email birthday card rather than calling or visiting the person.

    Wake up call...