By:Ashraf Mian

 

Two terrible tragedies occurred in 2012 that will forever live in the memory of most Americans: The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School and the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. Both give us cause to feel and act compassionately toward one another.

Sandy Hook Massacre

20 year old Adam Lanza shot and killed twenty children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. He also killed his mother, Nancy, in their home before driving to the school. Apparently, the shooter’s mother was a gun enthusiast and kept several guns at home. Lanza used one of them to commit the killings and had other guns with him as well.

Sandy Hook is a sad tragedy that has sparked compassion across the country. Parents everywhere share in the grief of those who lost sons and daughters at such tender ages. Parents losing children is not in the natural order of things, and perhaps it’s the reason why this shooting has struck such a powerful chord of empathy through-out the United States.

As we all continue to grieve with the families of the victims, it’s important to come together as we search for ways to prevent future tragedies. It really isn’t a liberal or conservative issue. It’s a human issue and we need to reach out compassionately to each other and find common ground.

Hurricane Sandy

In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the Caribbean and the east coast of the United States. The damage caused by the storm is estimated to be around $75 billion, ranking it second only to Hurricane Katrina in the dollar amount of damages caused. Millions of Americans were left with damaged homes and businesses in the aftermath of the storm. The rest of the country mobilized to provide relief to the hurricane’s victims.

Disappointingly, some members of the United States Congress balked at approving relief funds for apportionment to the states affected by the storm. Those who were against providing the funds claimed that the nation couldn’t afford it due to the national debt and the deficit. Such refusal to provide aid to states affected by natural disasters is unprecedented in United States history, and clearly, some congressmen and women were lacking in compassion toward their fellow Americans.

The areas affected by Hurricane Sandy are still recovering from the massive damage they suffered during the storm. Businesses are still struggling to re-open and people are busy repairing their lives. Compassion compels us to offer aid in whatever way we can – even if it’s only writing a check to the Red Cross or writing a letter to your congressperson or senator to urge them to support continued disaster aid for Hurricane Sandy victims and the victims of future disasters.

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