Everyday life is challenging enough, but this was different. It was by no means as serious as the Ice Storm of 2009, but it was bad enough that it caused just about all of us to stray from our comfortable routine and actually cope with something over which we had just about no control.
As is usually the case, that challenge brought out the best in some of us and the worst in others.
The ordeal was made better by those who:
• Got out their shovels and cleared their own porches, sidewalks and driveways, then walked next door or down the street to provide a similar service to a neighbor.
• Got on their own tractor, or used their pickup with a snowplow attached to the front, and helped clear not only private driveways and parking lots, but also knocked some of the frozen precipitation off remote public roads.
• Helped push the car of a friend or a stranger who had become stuck in the ice or snow, or used a chain or a bumper-mounted winch to pull someone’s vehicle out of a ditch.
• Made phone calls to check on elderly or infirm friends, just to make sure they were doing OK during the ordeal.
• Managed to keep a smile on their faces, rather than using the inclement weather as an excuse to perfect their grumpiness.
Then there were those who:
• Complained about and criticized the efforts of institutions such as the county and state highway departments for not doing a good enough job.
• Complained about postal service and private package delivery companies who did not measure up to fair-weather performance standards.
• Ignored those who were in need of assistance and went on their narrow-minded way.
• Drove too fast for conditions and were loudly, abusively impatient with anyone who got in their way.
Those who showed positive attributes deserve, but do not require, our praise.
Their behavior is its own reward.
They know in their hearts they did the right thing and that satisfaction is something the more boorish among us may never know.
Thank you to those who demonstrated grace and good citizenship. Thanks to all those who did their best to do their jobs and continue to provide services to the rest of us.
As for the rest of you, we offer not only condemnation but also condolences.
Your churlish behavior is a bigger burden for you to bear than it is a hindrance to the rest of us.