A part of what makes our world so amazing is its ability to destroy itself, rebuild, and become stronger.

Every day, we here at Ever Widening Circles (EWC) show you how absolutely remarkable our world is and how gorgeous and wonderful nature can behave. We rarely discuss these powerful moments when nature rears up and pummels us, taking away all that we have and making us start over. Yet it’s these moments that are crucial to our strength and ability to survive. How would you behave when faced with the remnants of a disaster?

Today on Saturdays Around the World, we are heading to a corner of New Orleans, Louisiana, for a beautiful story that reminds us that “home” can be just as extraordinary as the globe’s most remote regions, sometimes we just need to be the agent for change.

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina formed in the Atlantic and visited the Gulf Coast of North America. Thousands of people in the New Orleans area were displaced, forced to quickly leave their homes in order to save their lives. The neighborhood known as the Ninth Ward was one of the most heavily damaged from the storm and has notably taken the most time to begin to get back on their feet. It’s been over a decade after the storm blew through and the neighborhood is still a work in progress. Yet, the most important thing they need to rebuild isn’t all of the houses that were washed away nor the roads torn up and littered with debris, but their sense of community.

Burnell Cotlon was a long time resident and has returned as a key player in rebuilding community in the Ninth Ward. Here’s his story, thanks to Voyager

Via: Voyager 1

“You know how they say they don’t think one person can make a difference? One person can make a difference. You have to really really want it, and don’t let nobody tell you it can’t be done” — Burnell Cotlon

Home can be defined in numerous ways. It can be the place you rest your head, where you’re able to be yourself, the feeling of safety and acceptance among other beings you care deeply about. As humans, we’ve evolved with an intense focus on socialization and community, but when your community is suddenly washed away, what else are you to do but rebuild your home?

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It’s inevitable in life that disaster will eventually strike and your whole world will be turned on its axis. Please know, everything you will ever need to succeed and make a difference is already inside of you.

The human spirit is something that amazes me every single day, and I hope that by visiting us here at EWC you’ll start seeing how you too add so much to our little planet.

Stay open to new possibilities, and happiness will be nearby!

  • Sam

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Take a look down below to find some articles we’ve written that are related to this one! If none of these tickle your fancy, no worries, we have hundreds of other articles about our amazing world that you can find with the click of the little “Surprise Me” button in the sidebar.


  1. “The Unbelievers: Burnell Cotlon.” Vimeo. Voyager, 19 June 2017. Web. 20 July 2017. <https://vimeo.com/222224659>.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.