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Crisis Companion

Have you ever wondered why many people draw closer to each other at a time of crisis?  The horrific hurricane and flooding in Texas is an example of a situation that requires neighbors and communities to help each other.  The government can offer assistance, but their resources are limited and often not quick enough to aid everyone. There are multiple organizations that offer relief efforts to those affected, but this is an overwhelming undertaking and doesn’t always occur quickly or smoothly.  It has been wonderful to watch rescue efforts from citizens, boat owners, and neighbors in communities as they stepped up to help strangers who will be forever grateful.  Saving a life and possibly even risking your own life to make it happen is very impressive.  Many of these individuals are volunteers who chose to help their neighbors.  What’s in it for them?  Nothing!

There are many really caring, good and compassionate people in this world who have no agenda and are not self-centered.  Sometimes it takes a catastrophic event like this to witness this generosity.  Of course, these situations can sometimes bring out the worst in people.  For today’s blog let’s focus on the positive.  The irony is that when people go through a traumatic event together it usually draws them closer, even if it happens in a huge city like Houston.  In psychology circles, this is called “crisis intimacy.”   The term refers to how when a group of people face a crisis such as a natural disaster, the pain, loss, and recovery they share binds them together.  People tend to talk more, help more, listen better, and are more compassionate after such a life-changing experience.

Going through a crisis makes us more grateful for what we have and for the emotional support from our family and friends.  We tend to be humbled by an experience like this and appreciate the fragility of life.  We also realize how much we need people and value our connections even more.  Our faith is tested for some and strengthened for others.  We cry together, pray together, and complain together which all brings us closer together.  When we’re emotionally and/or physically vulnerable and share it with others, it tends to build deeper connections.  Life is filled with crises, but responding with caring and compassion for each other helps us heal quicker from the pain.  We’ll be praying for the state of Texas and hopefully learning from them that helping hands and caring hearts enable resilience and strength.

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