Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Brother, Can You Spare Your Time?

UNCERTAIN DAYS: Living Homeless

I've been a sad sack on here lately, haven't I? I apologize for that. When I first started this blog five months ago, my goal was to inspire healing and overall wellness. It's not easy, though, to be an inspiration to others when you have difficulty finding the energy to inspire yourself. I'm happy to report that I am over least for now. With the support of a loving husband, my beautiful children, and friends I didn't even realize I had, I can't help but find gratitude in my heart. I thank each of you who has offered a kind word, an empathetic poem, or an encouraging hug (in real life or through cyber space). Through all the difficult personal changes and life cycles coming to an end, I hope that I have at least been helpful in some way.

One of my favorite quotes is one by Edward Everett Hale and it goes like this: "I am only one, but still I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will." Some people might tell you that Helen Keller is responsible for this quote. Don't believe them; Ms. Keller was quoting Edward Everett Hale. As well she should have because it was so fitting to her life.

I've always believed that one person can make a difference. Once when I was eighteen-years-old an old, homeless man fell in downtown Baltimore during lunch hour. Even if you're not from Baltimore, I'm sure you can appreciate how busy a major city is at lunchtime. Being an older gentleman, he was having trouble getting up. Dozens of people walked right past him; some paused to stare at him, others didn't acknowledge that he had fallen at all. I stopped to help him up. More recently, I was on a jury where everyone wanted to let the criminal go free except me. I held up that trial for three days because I didn't want the victim to be victimized twice: first by the man who broke into her home and then by us because we let him walk. I don't know if I made a big difference in either of those instances, but I'd like to think I did. I'd like to think that by helping that homeless man, I let him know that there are people who still care. I hope that by fighting for that victim's right to feel safe in her own home, someone else on that jury realized that if crimes aren't punished, criminals have no incentive to obey the law.

Everyday try to make a difference, no matter how small. If you're the one person in your circle who befriends a young man being teased about his sexuality, you could show him that he is not as alone in this world as he feels. Knowing that could save his life. If you give a dollar to a homeless person, regardless of what you think he/she might use it for, you could see to it that one person doesn't go to sleep hungry tonight. Do you understand the gravity of that one thing? If you've ever gone to bed hungry, whether by choice or by force, you know just how empty it makes you feel.

Your one small difference could very well be the catalyst for astronomical change.

To all my friends and family who have done or said something in the past few weeks to give me hope, courage, or comfort, I can graciously confirm without a shadow of a doubt that you have made a big difference in my life.

Until next week,
Feed on love; subsist on peace.


  1. I totally agree with this post. I have been exceedingly lucky, blessed, whatever you want to call it in my life and feel that I should give back in whatever ways I can. I try to do this without expectation of anything in return, just because it's the "right" thing to do and to teach my child the same (oh but it's tough-she's 14!) There's a Jewish saying that "To those who have been given much, much is expected." Unfortunately, I've found it's often quite the opposite.

  2. Yes! It's not impossible to teach teens gratitude, humility, and service, but it sure isn't easy! I've heard that saying. I wish more people took it to heart.


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