Lessons from Sandy

Nurses This is part of my Series on Mentorship.

The last few days in NYC have been harrowing and humbling for everyone, but especially for those living in low-lying areas. Many have lost their homes, many have seen valuable possessions destroyed, and tragically for some of the unluckiest- Sandy took their lives and the lives of loved-ones. The city will be digging-out of the carnage for months- there is widespread destruction to the whole infrastructure of this town. Once again New Yorkers' sense of security and well-being has been massively jarred.

One remarkable thing I think most everyone in the city has witnessed though was the quiet heroism of the nurses, doctors, firemen, police and others that literally kept the city from descending into total chaos and even more pronounced tragedy.

One particularly moving example for us all (pictured above from the Associated Press) was the specter of nurses manually breathing for babies being evacuated down nine flights of stairs from the neo-natal intensive care center when the back-up generators at NYU's Langone Hospital failed.  They literally pulled 20 of the most fragile and vulnerable human lives in this city from the abyss. And that was just one story among countless others that emerged over the last several days.

Once again, as was the case over a decade ago, it was the unheralded salt-of-the-earth folks whose grim heroics bore us up in some of the darkest hours New Yorkers have experienced. For these folks, it's just "what we do"- for the rest of us- we can only be awed and eternally grateful.

For the next post in this Mentorship Series, click here