What Did You Learn from the Storm?
As New York continued to struggle with the devastating aftermath of Sandy, participants in the Socratic Conversation conducted by Ron Gross on November 15th struggled with the learnings emerging from the experience.
Photojournalist Diane Cohen exemplified such learnings: “Finding myself alone in the dark, I began to realize that the independence I had always assumed and treasured, was inadequate. I had to question it, and came to understand that inter-dependence is essential in ways I had not understood or applied!”
Rev. Anoek van Praag Inbar contrasted the reactions of Americans with the more experienced and measure responses of Europeans and others who have lived regularly with such calamities. “We understand that these are dimensions of our lives which we must take account of, personally and collectively,” she noted.
Ken Snyder described how he transformed the experience of deprivation into an illuminating interlude of contemplation. “Usually, I distract myself with media, digital communication, etc.,” he observed. “Suddenly, with those gone, I found I could focus on what really matters.”
Ron Gross concluded that “We have learned on several levels:
- SEEING ourselves and our environment more truly,
- QUESTIONING things we had not previously examined critically,
- UNDERSTANDING more deeply who we are and what need, and
- USING these learnings to prepare better for the future.”