Thursday, December 20, 2012
Help Heal us All
Late last night while at the airport in Philadelphia I had the very fortunate opportunity to help a total stranger.
As I was walking along I heard a very soft voice behind me calling “Sir, Sir”… and I turned around to find a small older lady, dragging along behind her a well-worn piece of luggage, who seemed to be down on her luck. She looked to me shyly and proceeded to explain in a worried tone that the ATM machine, near us, was not working properly and she was afraid she would miss her train from the airport to home, she couldn’t buy a ticket with credit because she had no cards anymore and she was 16 dollars short in the cash department, was there any way I could help her? I heard then the announcement for the aforementioned train departure time… I smiled at her to which she seemed surprised.
Now I am no man of great fiscal depths by any stretch, but I did have 30 bucks with me, ten for parking and 20 just in case… and I nodded. “Of course I can,” and handed her the 20 with a smile and told her “Happy Holidays”. Now I tell you I have already received my gift this season, the smile almost to tears of this woman I did not know, a fact which matters not. She is a fellow human being, and that is all that really matters.
I thought about this all the way home and the reason I am sharing this story is not because I want a pat on the back ‘atta boy’… but because at the moment I was confronted with the decision to help or not, my thoughts immediately traced back to those poor children, and adults, and all the families, and all of us as human beings sharing the world together; well I knew I had learned a lesson from this tragedy… it’s time we take pause, it’s time we put down our technological devices long enough to roll up our sleeves and start looking out for one another, it’s time we listen, not read a text, an email, it’s time we stop blaming objects, it’s time we stop depending on mind altering drugs to solve our problems, it’s time we start really paying attention to the silent struggles, and recognizing to, the silent heroes that are among us, it’s time we held a door, lent a hand, embraced emotional communication, it’s time to stop being an activist and being more active, more responsible, more caring and empathetic to all people, all cultures, all beliefs.
It’s time we show the world that random acts of kindness, in small but powerful steps, are helpful steps toward healing all of us. It’s time we ask, how much do we really care, because caring is not a word to be held at vigil, it is not a word to be plastered on our social media, our stump, it is nothing with any meaning at all without itself being an act.
We are, all of us, responsible for ourselves and for one another, our world. We should not, nor need not a Government, a Star, an Athlete, to lead us when it comes to our own feelings and to tell us what is right, what is wrong. All this starts within. In the mirror of denial can we find a great many ails of our collective society. When we can communicate only with words and coded shorthand but fail when it comes to emotional communication, the very fabric of life itself, we are missing out on the essence of our lives in my opinion.
It’s more important for us to inject the goodness of our hearts into the world silently than it is to stand with a candle and tears on TV. Those poor children knew not the depth of bitterness and sadness that seems to be put on display each day in our “news”… hopefully they only knew love, laughter… happiness and excitement about being alive and did not have to be told how to be happy, by a drug, a doctor, because they held the beauty of life within them that we all held and hold if we look, if we reach inside ourselves… if we really want to honor these children, their families, and each other, try reaching inside a little deeper, you might just find something we seem to be told does not exist… hope.
Reproduced with permission from Kerry M Thomas