Mobilizing for action
May 22, 2014
At some point in all of our lives, a thing happens to make us
feel unglued. Something that takes us out of the comfort and lull
of the daily routine and into unfamiliar territory. An illness, a
health scare, a profound disappointment, loss, a diagnosis or
death. Even the birth of a baby, something unparalleled in its joy,
can throw us for a loop. These events can sneak up on you or
overwhelm you all at once, taking what you thought you knew and
turning it inside out.
Knowing this - that we'll all be there - can make us fearful, or
it can empower us with empathy and compassion. It can remind us
what community means. Whatever that looks like. It can turn us into
the kind of people who do something when it would be just as easy
(even easier) to do nothing.
We've seen it happen. We've seen our neighbors organize meals
for a family whose daughter was stricken with the frightening,
thankfully temporary, Guillain-Barre syndrome.
There were meals, baskets of snacks and treats for the little
girl's siblings, drawings from our children, money for
housecleaning, even a team of moms who mobilized to decorate their
house for the holidays. And when the little girl was ready to come
home after 10 weeks in a children's hospital, her yard was
decorated with homecoming signs, balloons and a box full of love
There were the people who pitched in to mow the lawn, pick up
the mail, take care of the dogs, even plant flowers when a
neighbor's mother was dying three states away and he needed to be
by her side.
Or the couple who adopted their little girl from China and came
back to a surprise baby shower at work and a little extra time off.
We've been touched by the people who have offered prayers and cards
when a loved one was sick, who help with the kids or carpool when
we're under the weather and the friend who comes by to get you out
of the house when nothing else seems to help.
These are the things that save us big and small.
In fact, there's an entire organization devoted to 'inspiring
people to practice kindness and pass it on to others' called randomactsofkindness.org. Check
it out with the expectation that you will need Kleenex. We love the
articles about teaching children emotional intelligence, compassion
and kindness. And we especially love the idea that kindness is
Practice it with the people you
love. Practice it with people you've just met. Maybe pass it on to
complete strangers. And what we've found personally is that
somehow, what goes around always seems to come back around when we
need it most.
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