On Sandy and Natural Disasters: A Garbage Man's Perspective

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, Paul Gordon (MFAIA ’13) has published on the Huffington Post his reflections on cleaning up after a natural disaster. As a garbage man in Binghamton, NY during flooding in 2006 and 2011, Paul witnessed the damage, loss, and range of human reactions that emerged in the days and weeks after the floods.  His experience provides way of considering what’s happing in many lives along the Atlantic coast today.

He writes, “…times like these also galvanize people to their most generous — offering time, labor and compassion. It’s very moving to be a part of… to truly be of service.

“We store so many memories, and place such value in things we never look at again until we throw them away. To be certain, a flood’s an auspicious and devastating way of “cleaning house,” yet we never know from where the next large-scale change in our lives will come. Though it surely will. Mother Nature’s forces are so much greater than anything we do, and as far as she’s concerned, the notion of what is fair for us doesn’t figure in.”

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