My friend, Doris, who graduated from high school with me back in the Dark Ages, sent me an e-mail today with 48 pictures designed to demonstrate acts of kindness in the midst of this world-wide time of struggle with COVID-19 and racial injustices.
I selected my favorites from the 48 – and want to share them with you here as an encouragement to go out and do likewise. Pick your favorite from these seven that I have chosen. Tell me why it touches your heart.
Each of the seven (selected in random order) were important to me. They demonstrate our need for ONENESS, UNITY, RESPECT, GOODNESS, LOVE, and KINDNESS.
The numbers attached to the pictures were on the website… they are not in any way prioritizing. And that message above was part of the post… “Bored Panda” was the source. Their word “tolerance” is not mine. It seems condescending to me. I prefer “LOVE.” Don’t just tolerate me! Love me… and treat me as I am: your equal! One of God’s children!! Just love me!!
I love YOU!
Can you choose one from those seven? Tell me why it resonated with you.
The YouTube below was also sent to me by that same high school friend, Doris. It’s a wonderful children’s choir singing about the memories that will live on in their lives after this time passes. Click on the arrow, sit back, and enjoy the voices, the melody, and the message.
And don’t forget the message here: ONENESS, UNITY, RESPECT, GOODNESS, LOVE, and KINDNESS.
Bee well, my friends. I’m so glad I didn’t lose you… Memories bring back YOU!!
See ya tomorrow. Hugs, JanBeek
(Oh, leave me a note about your favorite of those seven, will you?)
It takes compassion To have honest empathy; Takes a loving heart.
In a World of Need by Terry Waite
“O Lord: In a world where many are lonely, we thank You for our friendships. In a world where many are captive, we thank You for our freedom. In a world where many are hungry, we thank you for our provision. We pray that You will: enlarge our sympathy, deepen our compassion, and give us grateful hearts. In Christ’s name, Amen”
Notice that in the first quote, Roger Ebert wrote EMPATHY is the most essential quality. In Terry Waite’s lovely poem, he asks God to “enlarge our SYMPATHY.”
What the difference between EMPATHY and SYMPATHY?
Oh, you poor, poor thing! I am so sorry for you. You hurt. What a shame!
I walk in your shoes, Genuinely share your pain. I understand you.
Lord, enlarge our empathy. Help us know how to reach out with compassion. Teach us to love, seek to understand, and share. With God’s grace … teach us!
And help us remember LOVE IS WHAT WE DO! Reach out in empathy and compassion today!
And don’t forget as you reach out to do so with a GRATEFUL heart!
There are plenty of people out there who want to show their love to others. They want to give to make a difference. You are probably one of them.
Besides giving to those we love around us, there are “causes” we care about. We want to give love to those, too. Especially while staying at home during this COVID-19 pandemic, I have felt the need to reach out more than ever.
But, how do you know the cause is “legitimate,” and if you donate to a cause, then the money is going to its intended purpose – and not to line some executive’s pockets – or make an advertising company wealthy?
Intermountain is a nationally recognized nonprofit providing Hope & Healing for children, youth, and families.
On their website, this is INTERMOUNTAIN’s mission statement,
“When families need help with the complex emotional challenges children and teens sometimes face, Intermountain offers innovative treatment developed from years of experience. Our caring professionals rely on our relationship-based approach and client-centered treatment solutions to meet the individual needs of each child and family and help them heal. Our goal is to help every child and family we serve thrive and grow.”
Because I believe Intermountain is committed to meeting its goal – and I have visited its campus in Helena, Montana, and seen first-hand the enormous good they do, I am signed up for an automatic deduct from my retirement stipend each month to send a donation to Intermountain. It’s a small contribution, not enough for me to even miss it, but it is consistent. It adds up to real help when it happens month-after-month, year-after-year. I am committed to doing my small part.
If everyone who heard about Intermountain donated a small amount every month, just think of how much more they could do to help needy children and their families!
I have the assurance that my donation has arrived and is being put to good use because every single month I receive a thank you letter from Beth, the Sr. Development Officer there who is in charge of Special Events (and obviously also in charge of written acknowledgements). Here is a copy of the letter we received in January from Intermountain:
Where’s Your Heart’s Passion?
As an educator for 36 years, I have a passion for children – their health and well-being, their safety and their enlightenment.
I know there are children out there who are facing complex emotional challenges. I am not equipped to help each of them (but I wish I could). Their problems are beyond my resources of time, money, and skills.
Some face separation anxiety with parents who were abusive, or parents who are in prison, or parents who are deceased, or… well, you name it!
I can’t help them all, but I can do a little to support this place in Montana that DOES have the facility, the love, the skills and materials to make a difference.
God has blessed you to BE A BLESSING. If giving to Intermountain is not in your future, then look for a place in or near your community – a place that is legitimate – a place that pools its resources, love, and skills to make a difference in the lives of others in need. There are so many … so many less fortunate than we are … Reach Out to bless others in whatever way you are able!
It’s never too late to capture the 2020 vision…
Make it a year of 20/20 clarity of purpose! Think about your passions, think about your blessings, and with gratitude, consider your giving.
Tell me some way you are giving in love to share your blessings with others in need. I’d love to have you write your ideas in the comments section – and inspire others to give in love, too.
Sometimes this COVID-19 feels like we’re walking through the “Valley of the Shadow of Death,” especially when we see the staggering statistics from Italy and realize how quickly the virus is spreading in places like New York City.
A friend told me today he feels we’re living in a period akin to the Great Depression or the Dust Bowl era. Songs are being composed about it. There are thoughtful essays being written. Scientists are creating impressive graphs showing the statistics of known contagions to death tolls and analyzing the relationships to age and climate. Novels will be written that will be classics in the decades to come.
How do we live through this “Valley of the Shadow of Death” without fear?
There are the usual responses: pray, sequester and meditate, have faith, bury your head…
But, while I do believe in the power of our Maker, and I pray daily for the Source of all comfort to bring us healing and peace, there are a few other ways I keep myself FROM feeling the gloom that seems to be enveloping so many. You probably have a list of ways, too. I’d love to have you share yours with me.
Here are my four favorite remedies for avoiding the paralysis of fear:
Music – sing, play, or listen to uplifting songs on YouTube or XM Radio. I love seeing those folks on their balconies in Italy making joyful music together, don’t you? I just listened to Bono and Will.i.am singing a song they wrote for/to the Italians. Google it! Music soothes the soul and uplifts the spirit.
Write – as a blogger, you know how therapeutic it is to put words on paper, in a journal, on a card to a friend, or here on WordPress. Write about what keeps you positive and passionate.
Connect – on the internet or by phone, through a window or across a fence. I just installed a new app on my phone and iPad. It’s called ZOOM. Do you know it? The basic version is free. It’s like FaceTime, but it works on other platforms besides Apple products. My friends in California and Bob & I had a great conversation. It was like sitting across the table from our friends who are 1200 miles away from us. We miss them and it lifted our spirits to see and reconnect with them.
Walk – when the weather permits, go for a walk with your dog or a friend or both. I did that yesterday in our Lion’s Club Park. Yes, we practiced social distancing, but we could chat and laugh and encourage one another. It’s good for body and soul. And TazE loved it, too.
Do tell your dog he’s gotta walk, too!
Tell me, what ways do you avoid walking in the “Valley of the Shadow of Death” these days?