I spent a lot of time reading very poignant posts this weekend and felt almost helpless that I couldn’t do more to ease the pain I saw. I wanted to reach through cyberspace and hug everyone. I made a lot of comments and a few direct e-mails and hope those few words bring a bit of sunshine to someone who might be having a rough time or just to say, you are not alone in this world. I want to think I am making a difference and wonder why do we have to suffer? Years ago after my mother was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and I was going through a particulary bad period of time, I picked up this paperback book written by Rabbi Kushner because I wanted to know why this was happening to little old me. The Rabbi wrote this after his son died at age 14. I am not a religious person but it actually helped me see that there are good people in this world and sometimes bad things happen. And it wasn’t because God (or another higher being) was getting back at us for something we had done—bad things just happen. He also stresses that it was not something that we did, a mistake, a failing that caused the bad thing to happen. This was what I took away from this book the most.
I created a sub-page within my blog to post some of the main points of the book but if you Google it, you will find a wealth of links.
The last part of the book questions what is our purpose in this world. To make money, to live in a big house, to buy lots of things, to travel, to … Not really. I have a lot of these things but to be really fulfilled is knowing that we can make a difference to how our world unfolds. I posted on Saturday, that my son had met a 10 year old boy in Africa whose mother had died from AIDS. The young boy was taking care of his sick grandmother and two younger siblings. My son left a few clothing items, some food and a few dollars. It might not have been much but it changed this little boys life for a short time and let him know that someone cared. When we do unto others we show others that they are not alone.
But bad things keep happening to good people and will continue to happen—the child abuse, sexual and emotional abuse, the car accidents, the cancers, the diseases, the deaths, murders and suicides—9/11, plane crashes, hurricanes, tsunamis, wars and genocide. We can never turn back the clock and change these things, nor how we or others reacted. But we can listen and we can help make a difference no matter how slight to the way someone feels. Ten years ago, Blogging and other types of social networking weren’t available. Now we can reach out into cyberspace and in seconds connect and make others aware that they are not facing their problems alone. I think if we knew the tiny little ripple-effect we have on each other we would be astounded.
So I want to encourage all, if you are looking for some reason to exist in this world, reach out to others. Leave a comment, send an e-mail (ok even pick up the phone and call them). Because your heart and your life will be much richer for it, knowing that you may have started that little ripple that will help someone else move forward. If you find some of this blogging overwhelming, post a message to let us know you are still around and are swamped with work, with kids, with life. We just want to know that you are still out there and will be waiting to hear how you are and if you need us for anything. Because "It takes a Village..."
I hope I haven't brought a downer to your Monday. I promise things will get better as the week goes by. And I wasn’t even going to post today!