So disappointed in you, New Jersey. I expected better. Fist fights at the gas pumps? People cutting in line to get gas and muscle out people that have been waiting, patiently and legally for hours? State and local police having to waste their time monitoring your behavior while you buy gas when they could be out rescuing people or doing so many other things that are so much more useful and necessary in such a crisis? Shame on you!

Oh, don’t whine that I don’t know what is going on there. Don’t use that as an excuse for your behavior. I am from there. More importantly, I have seen you and I know what good people you can be. Even more importantly I can say this because we lived through this. Last year my whole entire state here in Vermont got ravaged by Irene. Things were bad, things in fact were horrible and yet people were civil. Entire communities were cut off, isolated. There was no access to travel across the state. People were stranded, isolated, cut off from civilization. Gas ran out. People didn’t succumb to this embarrassing behavior. They helped each other out. They cut paths through the woods to some of the isolated communities and set up the means to get them where they needed to be when they walked themselves the mile or so out to where the road was accessible. They gathered supplies and did whatever they could to get them, including their own gas, into places that were cut-off and didn’t have any. We didn’t require the police to monitor our everyday behavior and stand guard at our gas pumps. We did what most people in crisis do — we rose above and helped each other out instead of making each other the enemy. Social media here wasn’t replete with videos of people fist fighting at gas pumps and picture after picture and comment after comment about police standing guard to maintain the order while you get gas and how obnoxious you are being to each other. This is just plain disgusting and makes me embarrassed to say that I come from New Jersey.

While I know that it is not all of you, and it is probably only a small minority of citizens, it is still disappointing to see over and over again and a sad commentary on human nature. You are, and you should be, better than that.