When my husband began having seizures several years ago, one of the things that struck me was the reaction of people around him. Certainly there were almost always people who wanted to help, but there were many more who were horrified by what was happening. Their fear inserted itself into the situation like a physical presence.
I celebrated a year of sobriety in February. That first year is selfish in many ways--and necessarily so. After all, without sobriety, I am no good to anyone--to my child, my family, even strangers. In fact, I'm the flat out opposite of good, without sobriety. But now, almost 14 months in, there is space in my life to help others.
Truth is, that wasn't normal by any means. As a society, our relationship with homeless people is simple; either you drop a coin or walk by. It's impossible to connect with people as people because we let ourselves get divided only by borders, but also by our occupations, social status, and other arbitrary self-imposed barriers.
The reality is that we do not have to be professional "life-savers" to help people. Each of us can choose to live a meaningful life, to have a positive impact on others, and to embrace and help people in need. No cameras. No medals. No public recognition... just ordinary "heroics" by ordinary people. I believe that there is "magic" in kindness.
She'd never told me, but Tom not only drinks too much, he also berates Mary when she needs support, avoids her when she needs love, and stifles her when she needs to express herself. Over time she learned to cower and hide, until her voice became as faint and tentative as the yip of a puppy locked too long in the cellar.
So many awful things have been happening recently around the world. But there are things that we, as individuals, can do to bring back inspiration and hope to the world in small ways. I recently read about a fellow Canadian blogger, Taslim Jaffer, who is doing her own "pay it forward" in a uniquely creative way with her Make-A-Wave Cards. Why not do our part and fill the world with a little bit of hope?
Most people feel something missing in their lives. So, how do we bring meaning into our lives? How do we begin to feel truly alive? Do something crazy! Help someone else. Choose to make one small positive change in the world. When we start thinking about helping others, we raise not only their hopes but our own heart vibrations. Our hearts rise up beyond the petty slights and missteps of daily life and begin to focus on a bigger picture.