Written by Ronald Scaglia Tuesday, 20 November 2012 00:00
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln
This is one of my favorite quotes that I often repeat. During my experiences, I have met individuals who have gained power and used it to make a positive difference, help others, and make themselves true leaders. I have also encountered those who let the power go to their heads and used it in a bad manner. Therefore, I consider this statement from Lincoln to be truly sage advice that I often refer to, and with a movie about the 16th President now showing in movie theaters, it is also timely.
It is also timely because of the last word in that quotation – power. Over the past few weeks, having power – the electrical kind – has been one of the biggest issues on Long Island. Some businesses were fortunate enough to have electricity throughout the storm and these establishments were often packed in the days after the hurricane hit as those left in the dark searched for hot food, supplies, gas, a place to wash their clothing, and other basic needs that suddenly became difficult to meet. During that time, I saw examples of those who used their good fortune admirably as well as those who didn’t.
One gas station that I filled up at did not raise their prices extraordinarily due to the shortage. One night, even though this station was one of the only stations in the area to have gas, and also had a very long line of motorists waiting to fill up, the attendant thanked me for my business. Wow. It was an act of civility among the madness. A pizza place that I frequent often was very accommodating, even though there was a two-hour wait for a pie, as if they appreciated my steady patronage before and knew that it would be their regular customers who would support their business after the crisis had ended.
By contrast, another business that I went to was not so nice. I was treated with arrogance, and prices that I thought were exceedingly high.
I’m sure most of you have similar accounts. There were some who acted very responsibly in the aftermath of the storm and those who you feel abused the “power” that they were lucky enough to have. One common quote that I heard in the immediate days following the storm was, “I hope everyone remembers this after things get back to normal.” I heard that quipped about a gas station, as the speaker believed the prices were way too high. Well, I agree with this quote. I hope everyone remembers how they were treated. I hope everyone remembers those who were there for the community, and did not plunder and pillage. I hope customers continue to patronize these businesses, now that things are getting back to a semblance of normalcy. And I also hope consumers remember those who abused the power, were curt, and raised prices to unacceptable levels.
How people act when they have power, whether figurative or real, says much about their character. Now the power is returning to everyone else. It is our chance to use our “power” to hold others accountable for their actions.
Ron Scaglia is the Special Sections editor of Anton Newspapers.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 10:25
The delightful and upbeat Annie Bleiberg, who is 93 years young, considers herself a very lucky person.
Bleiberg, a Woodbury resident, was a slave at Auschwitz during the Holocaust and her story of survival is chronicled in We Will Survive, a new book by Grammy award-winning artist Gloria Gaynor, known for her famous song “I Will Survive.”
On Nov. 19, The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County held its Annual Tribute dinner at the Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation, with more than 400 people in attendance including Bleiberg and Gaynor.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 00:00
A Syosset surgeon has become the first in the United States to present findings from a clinical trial on a combined bariatric approach to enhance weight loss that involves implanting a Lap Band and performing surgery on the stomach.
Plication, or surgery to fold the outer curve of the stomach into a pleat, is new in its application to bariatric surgeries. For decades, the procedure was used to treat perforated ulcers or stomach trauma.
Thursday, 12 December 2013 10:56
The 6th Annual Blazing Trails 4 Autism 4-Mile Run held on Nov. 23 was almost a brand new race—a new community (East Meadow) with a new school (the new Eden II/Genesis School at St. Raphael’s Parish) and a new flat course through some very nice local streets.
Among the 863 finishers were several award winners from local communities: Patty Santella of Syosset (3rd woman 45-49 age group), Kim Solomine of Syosset (1st woman 55-59 age group), Glen Wolther of Jericho (3rd 55-59 age group), Pamela Lee of Syosset (1st woman 60-64 age group) and Bert Jablon of Syosset (1st 85-89 age group).
Thursday, 12 December 2013 10:50
Graduate student and Syosset native Kiera Harrison became the first-ever Loyola University Maryland cross country runner to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, by the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Committee in November.
Harrison will become the first-ever Greyhound to compete at an NCAA Division I Championship in any sport as an individual.
“This was all Kiera’s hard work,” head cross country coach Rick Woods said. “She deserves this opportunity.”The veteran distance runner was the only Patriot League finisher to earn All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors this year, finishing 24th at the regional meet by tying a career-best time of 20:51 on Nov. 15.