For all its devastation, the massive storm last week demonstrated that our greatest asset as a nation is our ability to come together when needs arise and do everything in our power to help our neighbors.

For several days no one screamed about how Barack Obama was a failure as president or how Mitt Romney's numbers don't add up when he says he is going to increase spending, cut taxes and lower the deficit.

People reaching out to others across our state didn't first ask where those needing help stood on major ballot issues like gambling, immigration or gay marriage.

Perhaps the best image and most notable soundbites from the aftermath of the storm was Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a vocal and rising star in the Republican Party who has not been shy about his criticism of Obama, standing together and praising each other for their efforts.

Without Hurricane Sandy, last week likely would have been dominated by the bitter partisan attacks that have marked the campaign. Because of it, we were able to witness once again heroic efforts of individuals, groups and, yes, even governments as all the attention was focused on getting help to those directly impacted by the storm.

Regardless of who wins and who loses in Tuesday's election, regardless of the outcome of the various referendums on our own state's ballot, we should pledge to focus our efforts on solving problems and finding ways to strengthen our country moving forward.

Politics will always be a divisive issue, but reasonable people can disagree on topics without becoming disagreeable themselves.

Our country's strength is rooted in individuals who put aside their own wants and needs for a greater good, and who committed to making this the best country on earth. We saw that spirit alive and well last week in the aftermath of Sandy. We can see more of it too, if only we stop focusing on the things that divide us and, instead, work together on the things that unite us.