originally posted on Thursday, November 1, 2012
Yesterday, 48 hours post the worst assault of Hurricane Sandy, I drove from our home in Southern NH to the Philadelphia area.
As I drove closer to NYC, the traffic lightened as the hints of devastation mounted; trees uprooted and debris stacked along the Hutchinson Parkway. Utility and clean up crews appeared to outnumber travelers.
As I approached the George Washington Bridge, an eery feeling enveloped me. The usual miles of stop and go traffic heading south to the bridge were non-existent. I flew over the bridge without a tap on my brakes. I’ve driven this route several times and the ease of this drive didn’t feel positive. It felt creepy.
Coming up on the Thomas Edison Service Area traveling south on the NJ Turnpike revealed the longest gas lines I’ve ever seen; easily 1/2 mile and several cars across.
6 million people presently without power and millions more dealing with other aftermaths of Hurricane Sandy.
Plus, there’s the emotional toll. People who prepared for impact and had little to no damage. People watching afar, helpless, as they feared for friends, family, strangers.
What can we do?
Just listen to anyone who wants to tell their story and if you have fears, fatigue, angst, tell someone who will listen.
Professional coaches are trained to listen at a deep level. This includes attention to the person’s tone of voice, the expression of emotion or lack of emotion in the voice, what words are used and what may be left unstated. These are a few examples of deep listening.
Hurricane Sandy is an awful example of the importance of the need all of us have to be heard.
Are you feeling a sense of helplessness; either due to the reality of your own situation or due to the anxiety an event like this creates?
One of the best ways we can be here for one another seems simple. Listen.