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EXPLORE NORTHEASTERN

Should the cabin lose pressure on an airplane, passengers are told to put our own masks on first before helping those around us. I’ve always thought that maybe we have to be told this advice because it defies the empathy that makes us human. Amid a crisis, we have a deep desire to help each other that outweighs what we experience in our day-to-day lives. In the wake of 9/11, there was a widely-reported increase in random acts of kindness, like going great lengths to help a stranger find a missing dog. After Hurricane Katrina, some people flew across the country to the middle of a disaster zone to help strangers rebuild their lives. Years later, Katrina survivors flew to Texas to help strangers who had been affected by Hurricane Harvey. Time and time again, we see that a crisis has a way of bringing people together. Disasters tend to turn us into nicer versions of ourselves.

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