This week was a pretty crazy one in Fort Collins, Colorado.
On Wednesday, a freak ice storm blew through our little town in a matter of an hour, freezing over the sidewalks and roads with an invisible sheet of glass that everyone was obviously unaware of. Too many people to count blissfully walked out of the buildings and took a shocking fall on the ice that had coated the ground at an exponentially fast rate. In particular, my jazz director took a hard tumble and actually broke his elbow. As tragic as this is, there is an amazing story that accompanies this incident that has had a profound impact on me and many others.
When I was in my classical piano lesson the other day, this story was relayed to me by my professor. She told me that she had also taken a very hard fall on the ice, and was actually unable to get up. She was scrambling on the ground, when she saw a tall man in a hat hurrying toward her, while tightly grasping his elbow. He promptly picked her up off of the ground and kindly asked her if she was alright. She said his voice was trembling with pain, he was holding his broken joint, and his hand was violently shaking. He admitted that he had also just fallen, as evidenced by his apparent injury. She thanked him for helping her even though he was clearly in such an unfortunate state himself… but he refused to leave until she was safe in her car.
So he slowly walked her to where she had parked, letting her hang onto his uninjured elbow for support.
As she was retelling her experience, she was in complete awe at his unrelenting compassion. Not only did he get out of his heated car where he was waiting for his wife to take him to the hospital to help her up off the ground, but he walked her all the way to her car to assure her safety.
It is in times like this that everyone slows down for a minute and takes the time to lend a helping hand to others. This is a common occurrence in our society; sometimes a death in the family must occur for two siblings to speak after years of silence and hurt. Sometimes it takes a disease ripping apart a community for neighbors to come together and cook dinner for one another. Sometimes it takes an ice storm to remind us that we actually need our fellow humans and the kindness that they are capable of providing.
Being the metaphoric person that I am, I immediately saw a parallel between this ice storm and the state of our nation right now. In both circumstances, things seem to be crumbling at a rapid pace. After the storm, people were getting into car crashes, slipping and falling, breaking a sundry of body parts. Everyone stopped what they were doing, looked up, took a moment to say oh crap, this sh*t is real, and then reached out. We carried the books of our classmates on crutches, scraped the layers of thick crystals off of our friends’ cars, carefully sauntered arm in arm with someone to class, and gave people rides who were walking in the wintery conditions. We united because there was a common purpose; to be safe.
Similarly, our nation seems to be crumbling right now, quickly. Some of the first actions of our president made us stop what we were doing and look up. As things are progressing by the week, we are all now taking a moment to say oh crap, this sh*t is real.
So what’s the next step?
To reach out. And this has already happened on a massive scale across the country. Examples such as…
Jewish individuals offering up their synagogue as a place of worship for Muslim individuals whose mosque got burned down. Two religious groups that have had tension with one another for thousands of years.
Hundreds of “average joes” protesting in the airport against the ban put on refugees to enter America.
Millions of women AND men, flooding the streets across the nation, sharing their inexorable pride in how powerful it is to be a lady, in a peaceful and non-violent manner.
And on a less global level, people within communities, programs at schools, families, and friend groups, have all been extending a hand to their fellow humans that may be hurting or feeling the fires of discrimination in any sense of the word, for any aspect of their identity.
People are coming together, because there is clearly a common purpose; to bring back the powers of unification that come with simply being human.
So it goes. Sometimes it takes a storm for someone to share their umbrella.
Many of us cannot help but feel unbelievably discouraged by the actions of our government in the past couple of weeks, but there could potentially be a silver lining. What if this was all a part of a master plan… a master plan to get humans to unite, and to do it all on their own. Meaning, without a government to tell them how to. Maybe the very fact that our government is making moves to do the complete opposite will prove to be counterproductive because in this process… people will actually become more cooperative than ever before out of sheer necessity.
Out of the obligation to our environment.
To our education, to our healthcare, to our jobs.
And to our cold, hard human rights.
Let’s face this seemingly unconquerably crisis with the same compassion that I watched the CSU community adopt in the face of an ice storm…
May we pick each other up, brush each other off, and bring each other up, even when we may be hurting as well. In our efforts to do this, we may be able to accomplish something so much more powerful than our government could ever imagine.
Love to you all ❤
*P.S. I am always, always, always here for anyone who needs me to talk to, to vent to, to be a shoulder to cry on, or to be a safe haven or refuge. I will be anything you need me to be. Keep smiling ❤
*If you would like to contribute to my educational fund, you can read my story and donate at https://www.gofundme.com/hannahlentztuitionfund. Anything is appreciated!