The Worst of Times and the Best of People

September 11, 2019

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The Worst of Times and the Best of People

Image Credit: Shutterstock


Eighteen years ago, the world watched in horror as the unfathomable events of 9-11 played out in real time.

First, there was incredulity – “Did this really happen?”

Then, silence. Silence on the airwaves. Silence in the office buildings. Silence in the skies. Stunned…silence.

And then, the world sprang into action.

In the worst of times, the best of people began to emerge. Firefighters, policemen, medical personnel, military, and everyday people began to offer their strengths to deal with the crisis. One of them was my cousin, Christopher Santora. A teacher turned firefighter, his love of country and people came together that day as he sacrificed his life for both.

Christopher Santora

If you’d like to help honor Christopher’s legacy, please visit

And it wasn’t just in New York, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania and the rest of the United States.

A little town in Newfoundland suddenly became the destination for 38 planes that were ordered to land. 38 airliners, seven thousand people, and cargo all converged on the town of Gander, home to 13,000 people and host of only 500 hotel rooms at the time.

What happened next showcased the best of humanity – the city leaders took immediate action to find accommodations for the crew and passengers. People opened their homes. Volunteers prepared meals. According to an article in The New Yorker magazine, even the local veterinarian brought his unique skills to the situation by taking care of the animals in the cargo holds of the planes.

For five days, the townspeople cared for the stranded passengers and crew. For many passengers and crew, it made such an impact that they never forgot it. Some visit the city to this day, simply because in the worst of times, they experienced the best of people.

More recently, the people in the Bahamas have seen the worst of times – a storm so intense, it is impossible to comprehend what the survivors endured for hours on end. And then they emerged to find essentially nothing left of the homes and community they once knew.

Just as soon as the storm cleared, boats, planes, and helicopters were en route via sea and air, with rescuers and essential supplies. Cruise ships and their crews worked tirelessly to prepare meals and to provide a place for survivors to board, rest, and shower – the simple things we take for granted every day. One little boy, having saved his money for a trip to Disney, decided to donate it to the people of the Bahamas instead. People from many countries and cultures are coming together to do what they can.

In times like these, each caring person innately looks inside themselves and asks, “What can I offer to help?”

What they offer are their inherent strengths, their values, and their experience.

And it is amazing.

Thankfully, we do not have these types of cataclysmic events on a daily basis. But what we should have on a daily basis are individuals who bring the best of themselves to what they do each day and ask, “What can I offer to help?”

Wherever you are today, look around and ask that question: “What can I offer to help?”

In giving your strengths, you become stronger. And in receiving the strengths of others, you become connected.

Bring your best – to your community, your family, your business, and your world.


For resources on how you can learn your strengths and impact your world, click here to learn about the Maxwell Method of Communication Impact Report.

As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.