Mercy overcomes after Hurricane Irma

Ethan Wagner, Contributing writer

It often seems in this world of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, successes and failures, that whenever we experience events of mass destruction and devastation so too do we see acts of kindness, humility and selflessness.

The situation the people of the Southern United States and the Caribbean find themselves in now is nothing short of catastrophic.

With countless affected already and, as of the writing of this article, countless more in harm’s way as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida, we see the nightly news and social media plastered with stories and images of boats in the place of cars and front yards that have become lakes.

It is hard to imagine such a scenario unless you live through it, and I certainly cannot begin to comprehend even where to begin to recover let alone move on from.

However, it is in times like these that people of all ages, sizes and situations rise up in aid of their fellow man. People seem to look past differences and beyond their own struggles.

As we hear the ever rising damage reports and the likewise rising recovery estimates that are a staggering multiple billions of dollars and the government relief bill to provide financial aid, we also see some of the most admirable aspects of humanity, greater than money, present themselves.

It would be very interesting to determine how many hours have been put in by volunteers, good Samaritans who forget their own struggles and their own devastations to help their neighbors.

As horrible as the images of lakes spanning neighborhoods are, we see ordinary people, who have lost everything themselves, forget their own troubles to go and aid in the rescue efforts.

We see countless volunteers who have already begun going door to door to help clean out houses.

We see dioceses and parishes across the country collecting money to be sent for the relief effort. We even see children in grade schools collecting items to be sent to those families with nothing.

Is there any greater act of Mercy? Mercyhurst University was founded on, among other things, service and the idea of helping the fellow man.

As we examine our own problems that will affect us today, should we not see our struggles as nothing compared to those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and other natural disasters worldwide?

In the face of absolute devastation and destruction, we must continue to be encouraged by the service and selflessness of others.

Out of great destruction comes great relief and compassion, and I am confident that the mercy and service displayed by those affected by these hurricanes is something that our founding Sisters of Mercy would be proud of. Let us continue to keep those affected in our thoughts.