Human capacity to unite and help
car in front of me hears the siren a moment before I do and pulls over.
I do the same then glance in my rear view mirror and watch the dense
stream of vehicles behind me make way for the ambulance to get through.
I offer a prayer. I’ve done this since I was a small child. This time
with the rain falling, I offer two. One for the crew in the ambulance
and one for its unknown destination. Altogether it takes a few seconds
for those of us on the road to unite and synchronize our efforts. In
this case our help is to move aside so professionals can get through.
the dark sky there is no time to consider who needs the help. We don’t
hesitate. We don’t ask about religious views or politics. Are they rich
or poor? Gay or straight? Do they deserve it? We don’t care. None of
that matters when a siren sounds. Someone needs help so we move aside
to let the ambulance through.
human capacity to unite for a stranger always pulls gratitude from the
middle of my heart into my throat. We are good on the inside. I know
this but love when clear evidence is given unexpectedly. I take a huge
gulp of air to keep the tears back then pull onto the road and continue
always been drawn to everyday kindness and generosity. The kind
offered when we think no one else is watching. When we offer a hand.
When we open a door. When we make a real sacrifice for someone who will
never know our name.
during times of crisis the human capacity for compassion is
overwhelming. The day after Hurricane Sandy hit my telephone at work
was filled with messages from people wanting to know what they could do
to help. Mirroring the response after Katrina, the Tsunami and the local
fires. The same response seconds after a local car accident or
heart attack. People want to know what they can do to help. This is just
who we are. We are good. We are generous and kind. It doesn’t matter
where we live, what language we speak or God we pray to, when we see
someone in need - we move.
am humbled by the generosity of our local community members. Whether
it’s lending a few hours to volunteering at the animal shelter or
dedicating their life to making a difference in the world - it all
matters. We can all make a difference.
Shirley Adams comes to mind. Shirley is a local woman who has made it her life work to bring access to clean water to areas of the world at the mercy of rainfall. I think of Dan and Joan
Strauss, a local family who turned the devastating loss of their teenage
son Alex into efforts to prevent youth suicide in our region.
Then there is Justin. A local boy who decided one Christmas that he’d rather give a bike to a child without one
than to have a new one of his own. A project that has lead to dozens of
bikes being gifted each Christmas to local children. I am reminded of The Twelve,
a group of women focused on caring for local families not on Santa’s
route. This is the proof I have that we are good! We are so very good on
many of you come to mind when I think of the generosity of our local
community. And, although I know it doesn’t take a storm for us to come
together to help, knowing when a storm comes we have each other brings
me great peace. For that, and for your incredible generosity, thank you!
holiday season may we continue to offer our gifts of compassion and
generosity to all those who cross our paths. There has never been a time
when those gifts were needed more.
(Originally published in Upgraded Living www.upgradedliving.com)