Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hope and Awe

This past week, I had the great honor of being able to participate in helping a family in need. There was a fire near our house where the hydrants failed, and the families and firemen had to watch helplessly as the homes burned to the ground. What a tragedy, and what a travesty. And yet…

What I’ve been privileged to witness in the few days since has been nothing short of inspirational. In this day and age of greed and depressing news and Charlie Sheen and economic woes, a bunch of people – some I know, most I don’t – reached into their hearts, their homes and their wallets to give something to one of the families whose home was destroyed in the fire. This family was left with no residence, no clothes, no belongings, nothing. And today, thanks to the kindness of friends and strangers, they have a few precious items to help them feel a little less lost and a little more hopeful.

Now, I take zero credit for any of this, of course.  These folks are friends of a friend of a friend – I guess they’re friends thrice removed? But when I say I’m honored to have been allowed to help out, that’s no exaggeration. There is nothing as fulfilling to the heart and soul than knowing you have helped someone else, nothing better than knowing that you have contributed to someone’s security or happiness: no bonus, no country club membership, no flat-screen TV or Super Bowl win. Not even MARTA parking lot cookies. Nothing.

What’s even more amazing and heartening, to me, is the response of my neighbors. Two people I’ve never met before came to my door to donate whatever they could. Even more amazing (just how amazing could this get, you ask???), these individuals thanked me for giving them the opportunity to help someone in need. Let me state that again… these individuals didn’t know me prior to two days ago, and they definitely didn’t know this family, and yet they were grateful for the chance to give whatever they could to these people who find themselves in such a desperate situation.

If you haven’t done something meaningful for someone else recently, give it a try. I guarantee you’ll get back more in inner peace – many times over more – than what you gave.

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