11/01/2012 02:35 pm ET Updated Jan 01, 2013

The Awakening of Sandy: Will Power Truly Be Restored?

The devastation from Sandy will be felt for years to come. Our hearts ache with the pain of families who experienced loss of life and we wish them words of comfort and strength. The wind and sea surges flooded train stations, uprooted homes, and wrecked havoc across the northeast. Millions remain without power. It could be days or in some areas, it could be weeks.

When power is restored, how long will it last? Will the lights stay on?

No human being can predict the future. We will never know now when the next power outage will occur due to another natural disaster. However, my question runs deeper. During Sandy we witnessed and experienced the strength of the human spirit. Whether first responders, neighbors, or strangers, we found the inspiration and courage to embrace each other. Despite our differences, we recognized our common humanity and ignited our communities with acts of kindness.

What will be the legacy of Sandy?

How long will these lights of goodwill last? Weeks from now, will we still exhibit the same patience with others? Among our friends and family, will we remain on guard to stop digging for dirt and mine for the gold? Or will the prime impact of Sandy be a commitment to build levees to protect Manhattan from the next natural disaster or a better insurance plan?

In truth, we cannot control the weather. This is fate. However, we can control whether and how we respond to these moments. This is destiny.

In the midst of a crisis or life altering event, we naturally rise to our best and experience an awakening of the truly important in our lives. We call/text to check in and make sure everyone is alright. We count our blessings and offer thanksgiving and a helping hand. We experience a brush with our own mortality.

Years from now we will look back and ask ourselves not only how will Sandy be remembered but how will we be remembered. How did we respond to the devastation of Sandy? How did we insure for our communities that the lights will never go out again? Will we harness this experience to lead a more meaningful and impactful life?

What is the impact of Sandy? It depends on me and you.

Every human being possesses a Divine spark. As long we will live, this flame will never go out. Sometimes it may flicker. Sometimes, we may despair. Sometimes, as in the areas struck by Sandy, those most affected are diminished. Yet, regardless of the when the electrical lines are restored, each of us can channel our inner light and power to restore hope. This legacy and light will endure forever.

Tool Box:

Live the life now for how you want to be remembered!


S - Share - We Only Keep what we Give Away
A - Awakening - Count Your Blessings...every day!
N - Neighbors - Redefine Community
D - Despair - Restore Hope, Light in the Darkness
Y - You - Do not rely on others. You can make a difference!

Share a story and your own inspiration.

Wishing you blessings of peace and eternal light,

Rabbi Daniel Cohen