The character of a people is revealed not when times are good and life is easy, but when disaster strikes and we must rely on each other for our very survival.

When Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas and Louisiana coastline, flooding rapidly overtook large parts of the state, creating what meteorologists are now calling at least an 800-year event, maybe a 1,000-year event. Hospitals, television stations, and thousands of families were forced to evacuate as 11 trillion gallons of rain water poured down on the state. According to CNN, at least 62 counties have been declared disaster areas leaving more than 316,000 homes without power.

In response, volunteers from across the country and within the disaster area itself have mobilized to help the stranded.

In a moment when America has become so divided and bitter over useless political gossip, in the face of a natural disaster we are reminded of our character as a nation. When lives are on the line we are not classes and categories or parties and ethnicities. We are one nation, one people. Individuals helping individuals.

Ironically, in this crisis, we found some of the most inspiring examples of people helping each other on the very social network that has become a prominent outlet for political rage and hate: Twitter.

Lives have been lost and homes have been destroyed, but if there is a silver lining it is that the original idea of America — a nation based on a common belief in freedom and opportunity, not ethnic identity — still rings true.

So let Twitter inspire you, and please give to local charities and food banks on the front line of helping our neighbors in need.

 

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