Sunday, September 24, 2017

Reaching Out to Strangers

It was a funky summer, but I am doing OK

A few years ago a little girl in a town nearby was stricken with cancer.  She was a beautiful, blond haired, blue-eyed child and she became a major story in the papers and on social media.  People wanted to help in any way they could and money and kindness poured in from generous donors to benefit and comfort this family.   There was not much hope that she would get better, but we all wanted for her to have more time.  Unfortunately, that was something that we could not give and she passed away within six months of her diagnosis.  We all mourned.  The family was grief-stricken and the dad, in his misery, yelled against God to the media.  Tables turned.  Some of the people wrote nasty things about him and demanded their money back.  They thought they were giving to a Christian family like themselves, and his words told them that he did not deserve any of it.  Most , though, heard his pain and held him and his family close and forever in their hearts.

This has been a month of many sorrows.  The hurricanes, the fires, and the earthquakes have tested us. We watched as people lost everything, including their lives and the lives of those they loved. It was wrenching to witness and it continues.  However, out of all this destruction and terror, humanity answered.  Thousands walked through waist-deep water to save others, they brought their own equipment from far away to assist those in need, and they carried old people, babies and animals to safety, regardless of their own well being.  They did not notice race, ask their religion or their political affiliation; they just wanted to do the right thing.  Caring about each other is natural and it is instinctive.  Why is there so much noise in this world about your God, my God, your race, my race, your country, my country, and all the other things that divide us.  We are all in this together and we need each other.  Hate and jealousy will always be with us, but we should not let them get the upper hand.

These are tough times and it is sometimes a fight to stay joyful, but I think of that man, in the midst of Harvey, carrying an elderly lady out of her flooded home and her holding tightly to him and staring into his face.  It was such a beautiful picture and gives me optimism that faith, hope, and charity will always be with us. 

Next post will be more upbeat, I just had to let those thoughts out tonight. 

50 comments:

  1. Beautiful and true thoughts of peace and harmony. Why does it have to be disaster that brings us together.

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    1. Thank you, Delores. I was going to finish other posts I had started recently, but some news today struck a nerve. These are complicated times, but if we turn out the noise, maybe we will be able to hear each other better.

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  2. Thank you. I needed to read this. Sometimes I despair of our race - and then I get reminded that there is indeed good. And compassion. And kindness.

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    1. There has always been kindness, compassion, and goodness. It just doesn't make the news unless it is tied to disaster. People have always been there to help one another.

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  3. Yes, faith, hope, and charity will always be with us. It's unfortunate that it sometimes takes a disaster or tragedy to bring out the best in some people, but I honestly believe that "best" is always there... in all of us.

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    1. I do think, Susan, there are people who have no empathy. I am thinking of two of them now and they speak very loudly. They are, however, the exception.

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    2. You have articulated perfectly many of the same thoughts that I've been having - Thank-you for this beautiful and thoughtful post.

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    3. Thank you Kim. I know what a big heart you have and how your kindness overflows.

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  4. Yes, we are all one race in the same continuum. Your thoughts are beautiful and inspiring. Thank you Arleen.

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    1. Yes, Geo, and through your wonderful writing, we know what a kind and thoughtful man you are. The world needs more like you.

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  5. This very post is most uplifting, Arleen. It reminds us and reaffirms that there are many people who are good and kind. They don't often get good press, but they are here and there and everywhere. Thank you for posting this.

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    1. Don't you wish, Jenny, that there was a publication, or on-line site that was just about the good that people do. My favorite TV program is Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley. It is uplifting, informative, and interesting and I always feel good after watching the stories.

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  6. There is good in most people, and doing good is not restricted to those who say they believe in fairies. Nor, it must be said, are those who believe in fairies always good; one only has to look at the Catholic church to know that. In times of need those who have a good heart will always surface.

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    1. Yes, Cro, thankfully, those with a good heart always do surface and.inspire us all.

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  7. Well said, I have always felt that if the Giving is Conditional, then it isn't true Charity. Love should not be conditional either. I do believe that the worst of times often shows and brings out the very best Humanitarian Actions and it is indeed heart warming!

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  8. A generous spirit will/can emerge when tragedy is brought so close to their doors. Poor family. God bless them.

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    1. The human spirit of goodness and kindness shows best when tragedy happens. I will never understand those few who throw stones on those already injured.

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  9. Well the first story what saddened me is that people wanted their money back - not so Christian to me - he was just angry but hopefully will turn back to God. These people might turn him farther away.

    The second part while there is so much sadness was a story of joy and inspiration and love by others. That is what you saw in it - the good.

    I enjoyed and agreed with your post.

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    1. Those who judge others will, in turn, be judged themselves. There was no excuse for their cruelty towards that suffering family. Mostly, though, people are generous and charitable when others are going through difficult times.

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  10. And I'm glad you did let your heartfelt, sincere thoughts free, Arleen.

    I completely agree with your sentiments.

    It's good to have you back posting. :)

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  11. Yes a wonderful post, and one always finds humility in our own lives to watch people rescuing others with little thought to their own safety.

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    1. Thank you, Thelma. It is so uplifting to watch these countless heroes risk there own lives to save and comfort others.

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  12. Even as Christians when there is loss, grief can overcome us, causing us to question God's motives, but ultimately, God always has a plan that we may not recognize in the moment. I pray this family can cope with their grief and reach out to God for support. Like everyone else, I've been so horrified by the loss and suffering of so many people during the earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes. Though some acted badly by increasing prices, I've been encouraged to see that so many people have reached out to help, not caring about sexuality, race or gender. That's a powerful blessing. Hugs...RO

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    1. It has been a few years since that little girl died, andI I do wonder how the family is today. The loss of a child is immeasurable, and the pain is always there. I do hope that the kindness shown to them during that awful time gives them. comfort, and the words of those who judged are forgotten.

      Unfortunately, there will be opportunists in times of crisis, but it is better to dwell on the those who gave rather than those that took.

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  13. What a thoughtful and moving post! How can people be so small minded and mean?

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    1. It is hard to understand cruelty especially when people believe they have right on their side.

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  14. I don't think I could judge or condemn anyone's response in the face of tragedy hitting their family. We can never know how we will respond to grief like this unless we've experienced it.

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    1. The reactions of a few were disappointing and got noticed, however, most stood by the family and were were with them in their grief. Thanks for stopping by , Karen.

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  15. Arleen, I'm trying to catch-up and this is a post that touched my heart. I have had a difficult time recuperating from the last several months. The finger pointing, hatred and one-up-manship breaks my heart. And, I've been hiding out.

    I am a person of faith... to be honest I have done my fair share of arguing, bargaining and blaming. I think sometimes in our self-righteousness we forget, God can handle the battles. Bless that sweet families heart!

    Thank you so much for this post.

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    1. I have been somewhat hiding out myself, Bonnie. The past months have been difficult and it has been hard to stay positive, however, I keep trying.

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  16. As Mr. Rogers' mother said, "Always look for the helpers. They're always there if you look for them." Thanks for the reminder.
    x

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    1. Mr. Rogers was my hero. He spoke at a graduation I attended about 20 years ago. The crowd went wild and we all listened to every word he said. He was so much better than a lying politician.

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  17. And it continues not at Los Vegas. A former student of mine is now a police woman there. She was on duty at the massacre. It was six hours before her parents in our little Midwestern town found out she was ok. Such horror. Yet so many people helped at risk of their lives...

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    1. It sure has been a most difficult few months and now the horror in Las Vegas. I am glad that you got good news about your former student.

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  18. Arleen, So sad about the family who lost their little girl, and thank goodness there were those who had a better understanding of the father's grief. Between the hurricanes and horrible shootings in Las Vegas, it is difficult to remain optimistic, but the image of that man carrying the elderly woman to safety is both heartwarming and hopeful. Thank you for the gentle reminder.

    Julie

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    1. I am finding it hard to deal with these daily onslaughts of terrible news, but I have to keep my spirits up by looking for the good. Thank you for your kind words, Julie.

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  19. ...sending peaceful thoughts.

    All the best Jan

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  20. Felt so bad after reading your post. So sorry for the girl's family. Let her soul rest in peace and lat god give strength for the family to come up from this...

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    1. Because of that little girl, lots of money has been raised to help other families in this situation. I just read of the foundation named for her. She still lives in the hearts of many.

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  21. Excellent post! I love the pictures of all the kitties eating, so cute! Are they all yours? Uh-oh---you've met the nasty nasty "no-see-ums" down here, they are the most agressive and MEAN LITTLE THINGS!! Seriously they try to eat you alive

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    1. They are feral. The mom, second from the left, has brought six litters of kittens to us. All have forever homes except for those three. They have become our outside cats and we care for them as best we can. They eat well and have shelter in bad weather.

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  22. It's tough to be upbeat these days. Too often I find myself slipping into sadness and need to give myself a good poke to pull out of it. Sending you a hug across the miles.

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