Kindness in the Moment

Kindness in the Moment

2019.01.14

Mindfulness – The Human Spirit

 

I sincerely believe mindfulness comes naturally to the soul,  There are hundreds of videos on the Internet that display animals showing kindness to other animals, often from different species and breeds.  It is the mindfulness of those animals that makes their kindness a natural thing.  So we aren’t more humans doing it?

 

Jason Mraz asks the same question in the lyrics of his song “Living in the Moment”.  If this life is one act

Why do we lay all these traps

We put them right in our path

When we just wanna be free

I will not waste my days

Making up all kinds of ways

To worry about some things

That will not happen to me

So I just let go of what I know I don’t know

And I know I’ll only do this by

Living in the moment

Living our life

Easy and breezy

With peace in my mind

With peace in my heart

Peace in my soul.

 

 

Being kind to another might just be the easiest thing we could ever do and it certainly it the best gift to give ourselves.  Take a walk in your neighborhood or on a downtown street and share a smile with someone.  Shopping local markets and small businesses will help your fellow neighbors.  Offering to give someone a ride if you know you are both attending the same event is not only kind, it helps the environment and saves money.  Many offices and organizations have a coupon bowl where people can place unused coupons and retrieve one they might need.  Donating old clothes that are still in great shape always helps the community as does the offer to be a foster parent.  Many animal shelters need dog walkers and cat petters and pet fostering is always in high demand. 

 

 

We all should live in the moment but we need to make the best of each moment and that includes being the best we can be as people.  Spend a few minutes imagining what kindness looks like to you and then offer than to someone else.

 

Expect

Expect

2019.01.05

12 Days of Kindness

 

Someone once asked Michael Jordan to what did he attribute his success on the basketball court and in life.  Jordan answered:  “You have to expect great things of yourself before you can do them.”  While most of us can never achieve what Michael Jordan has, his advice is excellent advice for us in this new year of 2019.  Michael Jordan lived his career in the present tense and we need to live our lives the same way.

 

“I don’t expect you to except me, but I do expect you to accept me.”  This quote from Jarod Kintz may seem like a perfect example of how confusing the English language is but it also is a great example of  how most of us should live.  Life is the quintessential on-the-job training experience.  No matter how hard we try we cannot fully prepare for tomorrow because it is always something of a surprise.  Each hour offers a chance to succeed or fail. 

 

Why expect anything other than success?  In a world where our differences seem amplified, it has become commonplace to expect the worst.  We do not turn to the news expecting the program to be full of happy thoughts and joyous happenings.  We have become slaves to depressing expectations.  What if we expected goodness?  What if we expected greatness in ourselves and then realized it when it occurred?

 

Few of us will ever win the championships Michael Jordan won but he can’t cook my special breakfast gravy like I can.  In that, I am the great one.  We all have talents that make us special.  The other day I sat in front of a toddler, an adorable baby only five months old and together we listened to a guest speaker.  The baby understood little about the speaker but gurgled at all the right times and smiled throughout.  She made me happy I was present and her smile still brings a smile to my face several days later.   In expecting a great time of life, the baby was as much a pro as Michael Jordan.  For sure the baby was great at smiling.

 

Perhaps your talent isn’t cooking but it is in cleaning a house or repairing an engine.  Some of us are loving caregivers while others are detailed researchers.  We all have a uniqueness that makes us great.  Perhaps yours is in expressing joy or gratitude, organizational skills that keep things rolling, or maybe you are a dreamer that envisions great projects.  Everyone has something to offer the world. 

 

Instead of looking in the mirror and seeing our supposed faults, what if we looked in the mirror and expected to see our greatness?  William Shakespeare advised “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”  The actress Judy Garland summed it up best:  “Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.”  Expect to be you and expect that you are not only a person of value but greatness.

 

This ends our twelve days of kindness and, if you have been paying attention, you will have figured out that each day’s title was a clue.  The titles, in order of the twelve days, were Generosity; Respect; Acknowledge; Clemency; Envision…  Accept; Need; Dare …. Laughter; Open; Veer; Expect.  These are ways to experience and live kindness:  G-R-A-C-E … a-n-d … L-O-V-E.  When we are generous, show respect, acknowledge one another with forgiveness and clemency, we are then able to envision a better life.  We should accept and need each other, daring to laugh, be open, learning from life’s detours when we veer off course, and expect good things.

 

The Christmas season has reached its end with the twelfth day of Christmas being today.  Tomorrow begins Epiphany, a season of revelation, expectation, and presence.   It is a good lesson for us all to expect ourselves to be present in each moment, reveling in what life offers us, and expecting to make today great and tomorrow even better.

Veer

12 Days of Kindness

Christmas 11

Veer

 

“Oftentimes, people reflect on their lives and wonder how they came to be at a certain crossroad or exactly how they got where they ended up. This can apply to anything in life, be it career choices, our choices of marriage partners or even personal decisions we’ve made, crises we’ve lived through.. A path is just that; a means of getting from one place to another and made up of individual stones or paces we take one after the other…When we start out on a certain path in our life, we don’t have the luxury of seeing where our footsteps will lead us…That’s the beauty of living…Every decision we make along the way leads us to more paths and so on and so on until by the end of our days, our life is one continuous string of smaller paths we have taken…All combined to make the final trail…Is it fate that leads us to veer from the original path we had in mind or is it something called destiny? Or is it a certain amount of luck, good and bad, or personal choice?”

 

I found the above quote online but could not find by whom it was said.  We could spend days discussing it and whether or not the things said were true.  One thing is clear, though.  Our lives do contain those moments in which we seem to head “off course” only later to wonder if the “off course” was really the course we really needed to follow.  Sometimes life’s detours take us where we needed to be all along.

 

Some of the sweetest fruits look ugly on the outside.  The rough texture of the skin of an avocado is in direct contrast to the smooth inner texture of the fruit hiding inside.  Somewhat a color much like algae, who would expect the fruit of the avocado, often considered a bit bland, to be considered a superfood?  Life often hides its treasures in the same way.

 

A friend of mine considers people who never think outside of the box to be people who believe in a “small God”.  People who discriminate do so, according to my friend, because they cannot conceive of a God who has children that look different than they do.  Such people, my friend believes, have a narrow vision of their deity, a tunnel vision that does not allow for any colors beyond the primary colors, nor people who are different than they.  In short, my friend concludes, they have a small, boring, bland God.

 

There are times when the world seems too vivid, life’s happenings too real and far too painful.  There are days when bland and boring would seem like a gift to me.  Then I realize that such bland and boring days would teach me nothing, give me no new opportunities to grow, and usually do not offer a reason to smile or laugh or feel the joy of life.

 

In her book “Rise Up and Salute the Sun”, Suzy Kassem wrote:  “I have been finding treasures in places I did not want to search. I have been hearing wisdom from tongues I did not want to listen. I have been finding beauty where I did not want to look. And I have learned so much from journeys I did not want to take. Forgive me, O Gracious One; for I have been closing my ears and eyes for too long. I have learned that miracles are only called miracles because they are often witnessed by only those who can see through all of life’s illusions. I am ready to see what really exists on other side, what exists behind the blinds, and taste all the ugly fruit instead of all that looks right, plump and ripe.”

 

Today your challenge is to veer just a little bit off the beaten path you usually take and experience a fuller life.  Perhaps it will be to take a different route home.  Maybe you will select a different entrée to eat or just add a slice of avocado on a burger or to top off a baked potato.  Maybe instead of watching television you will exercise or perhaps,  or maybe you will put a treadmill in the room with your television or computer and do two things at once for a brief period.  Maybe you will stop by a mall on the way home and walk inside, not purchasing anything, just getting some exercise and smiling at those you pass.

 

A popular viral video on Facebook features a toddler standing by the glass railing of an escalator.  People descend to the floor below on the escalator as the toddler waves goodbye.  Some never veer from their routine, never see her wave or smile, never realize someone has just shared the joy of life and caring about their journey with them.  Others, however, do see her, the motion of her hand catching the corner of their eye.  Instead of going down the escalator like they usually do, caught up in their own world, they veer from their norm and return her wave.  Some smile back, and there are a few that even respond with their own “Bye bye!”

 

“In life one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day – or to celebrate each special day.” Rasheed Ogunlaru’s quote speaks to our challenge today.  We can either stay on our regular course, limiting not only our God but our life, or we can realize that today is special just be being.  Veer away from the humdrum of the regular routine and see the beauty of the moment.  Let your deity be all that he/she could be and your life will be as well.

 

Need

Need

2018.12.31

12 Days of Kindness

 

 

It is an old African folk tale set to music. The father is out in the field and the mother is at the well. The grandmother is at the market hoping not only to purchase but also to sell. A neighbor is watching the children who are playing out in the yard. An old man comes by and stops to tell them a story because he likes to make them laugh. His story has a moral, though, and that is when they are down by the river, they need to look out for the crocodiles. The moral of the song is the unity with which everyone comes together for the children. In Africa, there is an old saying: “It takes a whole village to raise a child.”

 

In 2014 the town of Ocean City, Maryland celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of its Play-It-Safe Ocean City program. Designed for graduating high school seniors, the three week-long program involves area merchants, local volunteers, state and county agencies and volunteers to assist with the free events for the young people. Seniors can come for one week and are given a booklet with free coupons for food and a schedule of events, all designed to help seniors celebrate their high school graduation in a drug-free environment. Free bus passes are included to help those participating navigate the city. Free events available to the seniors include free roller coaster rides, tye-dye t-shirt events, pizza eating contest, dance party, tennis tourney, laser tag mini golf, regular mini golf, dodge ball, Splash Mountain, 3-on-3 basketball tourney, beach volleyball, wind surfing, kayak relays, moonlight bowling, and karaoke.

 

In a world where many feel afraid of their neighbors, Ocean City, Maryland had adopted the African slogan and made it a celebration. During the summer of 2014, as they celeb rated their twenty-fifth year, they had seniors from sixteen states and the District of Columbia attend. Sixty thousand brochures advertising the program were sent out and twenty thousand Passport to Fun Booklets distributed. There were over forty-eight planned drug-free and alcohol-free events for the eighty-three hundred-plus attendees at no charge. This was made possible by the over three hundred businesses, organizations, and individuals who contributed services, money, and prizes. Over three hundred and fifty volunteers, private citizens, assisted as well as the employees of state, county, and municipal agencies. Over two thousand hours, half by volunteers, make this village-sponsored event a reality.

 

During Kwanza, seven candles are lit, the first being the black candle. The remaining candles, three red and three green flank the black candle. The red candles represent the principles of self-determination, cooperative economics and creativity and are placed to the left of the center black candle. To the right are the green candles which represent collective work and responsibility, purpose, and faith. This is to show that people come first, and then the struggle and finally, the hope that comes from the struggle.

 

The program in Ocean City, Maryland, is not simple. I can assure you that there are struggles. Weather delays are just one of the many surprises that life sometimes offers. However, year after year, the people and the agencies of the area continue to do this for students from outside their neighborhood. All this comes from a town of less than eight thousand year-round residents.  These residents and the annual summer residents work together as a village united, serving to provide high school seniors a safe yet fun way to celebrate their high school graduation.

 

The world with all the modern technology has gotten smaller and now it is as easy to travel half way around the world as it was for our parents to travel one hundred miles to a cousin’s house. The celebration of Kwanza is not just for those of African descent but for us all. We all need to remember that we had help getting to where we are and that we need to help others. Television has many so-called reality shows about people who want to live “off the grid” and yet, they are so popular because these people end up needing someone.

 

On this the last day of the year 2018 ACE, people will gather all around the world in crowds to usher in the New Year.  On a remote island in the south Pacific, the first festivities will commence.  They will continue much like a long row of dominoes, one leaning into the other, each needing the other to complete the path dictated by gravity which is shared by all. 

 

It is a fact that we need each other.  None of us are born alone.  Life is a team sport and perhaps, as we take part in the festivities of the season we will remember that we also take part in a greater celebration about the family of man called life. It really does take a village, not only to raise a child but to help an adult in their living as well.  We each play a vital role and not only need but are needed. 

 

You have value.  I hope as we say goodbye to 2018 we will put to bed all insecurities and past griefs.  As we usher in the new year of 2019, may we begin with renewed hope, confidence, and energy to make this new year one in which all people have value and are respected.

 

 

 

 

Acknowledge

Acknowledge

2018.12.27

12 Days of Kindness

 

What a difference two letters can make.  When it comes to kindness, our theme for Christmastide 2018,  two letters make all the difference.  Knowledge is wisdom, intelligence, learned matter.  Knowledge is good but unless it is put to use, it really is little bit more than curiosity answered. 

 

Add two letters – “a” and “c” to the word “knowledge”, and all of a sudden you have the easiest way in the world to show what you know is needed in the world.  By putting an “a” and a “c” before the word “knowledge’, we create a new word and a great way to show kindness.  The word “acknowledge” comes from fifteenth and sixteenth century words from both France and England, words that mean “recognize” or “understand” or “accord”. 

 

All too often, particularly in the political world, it is felt that one must be in complete accord or agreement with someone in order to acknowledge them.  I hope that is not going to become the norm because it really is a very cowardly way to live.  We can acknowledge someone and understand that they are not us and do things different without undermining our own lives.  No one is exactly like you or me.  When we acknowledge that fact, then we are free to show kindness, especially to those who are different.  Their beliefs only threaten us when we live fearfully and without confidence in our own beliefs.

 

The understand facet or definition of the word “acknowledge” is similar in its application to what we just discussed.  To acknowledge someone having a different opinion and fully grasping their opinion means we understand them.  It also is showing them great kindness because it is allowing them a dignity, much like what we referenced in yesterday’s blog post about respect.

 

The easiest and most cost effective way of showing kindness to someone is to recognize them.  I don’t mean to simply call them by name but treat them as if they have value. After all, we all have value in our own special way.  Regardless of which creation myth you believe, we are all wondrously made.  Recognize them and then follow up with behavior that reflects that recognition and you will be showing someone great kindness.  It can be as easy as a hand raised in greeting or a joyful “Hello!”

 

In 1865 the American Civil War, officially known as the War Between the States, was drawing to an end.  The states that had seceded were rejoining and the Colonies were once again a viable democracy.  France had been involved with the colonies almost since their inception, sometimes as an ally and sometimes as an enemy.  However, for almost one hundred years, France had assisted the colonies.  It was because of this connection that historian Edouard De Laboulaye suggested France create a statue and give to the United States.  The commission for such was awarded to sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.  France would create and gift the sculpture to the U.S.A. and it would build the pedestal upon which the statue would stand, furthering acknowledging the partnership and friendship between the two nations. 

 

A need for fundraising delayed the start of the massive project until one year before the US/s centennial celebrations.  The finished statue was delivered and dedicated in October, 1886, ten years after the nation’s centennial.  The inscription, the winning sonnet in a fundraising contest of 1883, was penned by Emma Lazarus:  ““Give me your tired, your poor; Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free; The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.   Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.  I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

 

This inscription acknowledged each and every immigrant as they passed through Ellis Island and  today serves as a welcome to the thousands of others that arrive in other ports across the country.  The Statue of Liberty, as the statue became known, operated as a lighthouse for almost fifty years, sending its beacon of light emanating from Lady Liberty’s torch out into the night, giving safe passage and welcoming all in acknowledgement of their presence.

 

My challenge for you this day is to wave hello to someone.  Acknowledge their presence.  Nothing complicated in that, is there?  And if you cannot raise your arm to wave then nod and smile.  By doing so, you will be showing kindness to that other person, regardless of their station in life or bank account or position of authority.  Person to person, you will be welcoming them just as the Statue of Liberty has welcomed millions throughout the years.

 

Sometimes the greatest gift we can give someone is to recognize their existence.  We don’t have to want to emulate them or believe just as they do.  Acknowledgement simply means we recognize their presence.  To acknowledge someone is to show kindness of thought and presence.  It costs us nothing to give.  Remember your challenge for this day is to simply wave a greeting to someone or nod your head in a friendly manner towards another person.  No one is truly invisible and when we acknowledge another, we are giving them value and worth.  It is a simple gift that will mean everything to someone.

 

 

Generosity

Generosity

2018.12.25

12 Days of Kindness

 

Ask someone about nobility and several answers will be commonly given – regal, majestic, rich, entitled (both actually possessing a title and feeling better than others).  Some might even go one step further and start describing coronations, rituals involving the nobility, or perhaps the acknowledgement given to those in the nobility with their titles, curtsies, and bows.

 

What you do not expect and will seldom hear are descriptions of the nobility standing shoulder to shoulder with the poor or outcast.  We picture large castles for the nobility, not simple lean-to huts.  We imagine the nobility wearing the finest and latest fashion designers and not the worn-out jeans or the homeless.

 

This Christmas my blog posts will not follow the Twelve Days of Christmas nor will I select a nondescript, politically correct topic.  I am indulging in the twelve days that fall between Dec 25th and January 6th.  Between mid-November and the second week in January there are roughly twenty-seven, 27, holidays celebrated worldwide.  For many, these next eight days mark Kwanza, a holiday time of community and family with no specific religious connotation or affiliation.  Kwanza is a great holiday, as are the other 27 but I would like to start a new one – the Twelve Days of Kindness.

 

Most of these twenty-seven holidays are not about self…well, not directly.  They reference our individual growth and personal peace by celebrating people, events, and beliefs that all speak to our connectedness.  If you are new to this blog, welcome.  If you are a seasoned reader, then thank you.  Your reading this connects us and strengthens the ties that truly unite us all.  Reading, though, does not get our living done.

 

We all believe in something.  Just believing does us nothing, though.  We have to put that belief in action and every good belief involves at least one other person.  Last night people worldwide celebrated the birth of the man known as Jesus of Nazareth.  Regardless of what you believe. Chances are you saw a celebration, went to a party, gave or received gifts.  Christmas is pretty hard to escape.

 

Historically and archaeologically, there is more evidence of this man’s existence than evidence he did not live.  For many it is unrealistic to think the baby that people would believe was the son of the Creator would be born in such a humble manner.  The “King of Kings” as this baby would grow up to be called would have needed a noble birth.

 

It was somewhere during the 1580’s that the English word nobility became spoken.  An anglicized form of the French “généreux” (14c.), which is derived from the Latin “generosus”, the word generous translates as “noble birth.”   Thus a generous person was someone born into the nobility.  Surprised? 

 

Today the word generous is an adjective but it doesn’t just mean someone who gives to others.  It literally means someone who gives to others without expecting anything in return.  That bears repeating – It literally means someone who gives to another and expects nothing in return.   Nothing.  Nada.  Nil.  Zero.  So when we give to a charity or drop some coins into a bell-ringers bucket, we should get nothing in return, not even a sense of “well done, self!” 

 

I confess that when I help others, I help myself.  Usually I am not really thinking about that but, in retrospect, I realize that I have probably received twice as much as I have given.  I was taught the habit of generosity through seeing such in the actions of my parents and others.  For some, their giving was more about making themselves feel good, however.  They really gave very little thought to those who would receive their giving.  Many of us are like that.

 

When I was nine years old, a dear family friend gave me a most unusual Christmas present.  She gifted me the sponsorship of an orphan on the other side of the globe.  She paid the monthly sponsorship fee but it was my name on the paperwork and I was the one who received the monthly updates on the boy who lived in deplorable conditions due to the political nature of his home country.  While others were playing with roller skates, I was reading about how the sponsorship fee had helped dig a well so the village could have safe water to drink and for other uses.

 

The next year this friend continued the sponsorship and it was with tears in my eyes that I heard my parents complain to her.  The three adults agreed that this would be the last year of the sponsorship and, true to her promise, the next year the friend gave me a book.  I still have that book but I also still have the spirit of awareness that was the real gift those two years.  Her gift made me realize the nobility of each birth, the awareness of not only how lucky I was in my own life but how similar that child was to me.  She gave me the gift of connectedness to my spirit within and the world around me.

 

Oscar Wilde once wrote “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”  I am blessed with friends who follow through on their beliefs by giving to others.  There is always a need, nonetheless, for us to do more.  There are times in which we think we cannot give anything else.  Maybe our own lives are in chaos; maybe we are the ones in need.  We all have something to offer, though, and in that offering, we often find something greater, something we might not have known we needed.

 

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”  Leo Buscaglia was speaking about doing for others but it works for us as well. And so, on these twelve days of Christmas, I ask that you not only read but act.  I ask that you spread a little kindness each day, living out one aspect of kindness.

 

 I challenge you today to smile at a stranger.  It will cost you nothing and if you wear a head covering that prevents someone from seeing your smile, then live that smile – let someone go in front of you through the door or marketplace walkway.  Live the nobility of your own birth and presence by being generous. 

 

Perhaps you have some old clothing that you could pass on to someone in need.  Maybe you could advocate for animals or donate an extra box of rice or bag of beans to a food pantry in your area.  These are all great acts of generosity, our characteristic for today, and all are very needed.  However, my challenge for you costs nothing – simply share a smile with a stranger.  If you can do more, then please do so.  First, simply share a smile.

 

Regardless of who we are or where we live, we are connected.  We share a planet.  We share basic characteristics of being human.  Hopefully, in these twelve days we will share kindness.  This is not a new idea.  The Roman Seneca once said “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.”  In this the 21st century, we might have lost sight of that just a little.  We seem more interested in what separates us then it the ties that unite us. 

 

Much is spoken and wars are carried out because of those difference.  There is no real number for the varieties of religions that are practiced on the planet today; the numbers keep changing as religions are overtaken by extremists.  The 14th Dalai Lama, the man known as Tenzin Gyatso once wrote:  “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”  Regardless of what you call your religion, today I hope you share a smile.  Trust me, you will get at least one in return. J

Losing a Community – Lessons of Stan Lee

Losing a Community – Lessons of Stan Lee

2018.11.13

Growing Community

 

With pen and paper, Stan Lee created communities of fiction that, sometimes, became fact.  All of the quotes in today’s posts are his.  Stan lee passed away earlier this week at the age of 95 but his legacy will live on in his characters but more importantly in their examples and dialogue.

 

Two weeks ago I happened upon an advertisement for a house in Calabasas, California.  I still am not sure what I entered into the search engine to arrive at this site and yet, intrigued by the house pictures, I happily spent twenty minutes there.  It was a real estate website and the houses featured were gorgeous – large, sprawling, and guaranteed to make anyone envious.  Yesterday, as I watched the national news about the horrific wildfires in California, something looked familiar.  Then I realized it was part of one of the houses from my earlier search in Calabasas.  Sure enough, the captions showed I was correct with the location. 

 

The community I had so envied fourteen days ago was not smoldering rubble.  No one would be envious of those who had lost their home.  Fourteen days ago the houses I had viewed online seemed flawless and one would have assumed that their owners led charmed lives.  “No one has a perfect life.  Everybody has something that he wishes was not the way it is.”

 

When we think about community, as I mentioned last week, we tend to think of a homogenous area where people share many things in common.  Today, many families in Calabasas are sharing grief and horror.  “I think people have always loved things that are bigger than life, things that are imaginative.”  I was certainly envious of those mansions I had viewed online.  They not only tweaked my envy but my imagination.  I had spent time pretending I lived there, happily forgetting the knee pain the winding grand staircases would have increased or the problems in cleaning the yardage of windows.

 

This had been a community of my dreams but not of my reality.  I could not fathom having clothes and shoes enough to fill the massive walk-in closets.  In truth, I would not enjoy such but still, for a brief time, it was fun to imagine living in such a community. 

 

“Every day, there’s a new development…There’s no limit to the things that are happening.”  The day after I had perused those impeccably designed grand manors in the California community of Calabasas, I looked about my own much more modest abode.  It was time to do fall cleaning and prepare for holiday decorating.  Suddenly I was very happy to have thousands less square footage as I had more than enough to clean and declutter.  I was content to live in my own community.  Now two weeks later I grieve for those very people I had recently envied.  Their homes were consumed by a fire that cared little for their grandeur.  Now, instead of needed my admiration for their magnificent lives, they needed assistance from ordinary people like me.

 

Farther north another wildfire raged and a family with a one-year-old toddler had to leave everything and evacuate.  As they sat far away from the fire that leveled much of their hometown of Paradise, they understandably wondered if their home was now a pile of ashes.  Suddenly they received a Face Book message from a stranger asking about their address in Paradise.  An ambulance loaded with patients had been stuck in the town of Paradise.  The nurses and patients had sought refuge in this family’s garage.  The Borden family home had provided protection from the raging fire which created a community of those rescued and this family.

 

Community is not just a geographical location and through organizations like the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and others, we can create our own community and be super heroes.  “America is made of different races and different religions, but we’re all co-travelers on the spaceship Earth and must respect and help each other along the way.”

 

Stan Lee once said that the greatest super power is the ability to help another.  Today we have the opportunity to help our community by rendering aid to those devastated by these wildfires.  We also need to look ahead and enact policies that will reduce such in the future.  We cannot control Mother Nature; she is a super character in her own right.  We can, however, plan, prepare, and protect for future generations. 

 

“It’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race – to despise an entire nation – to vilify an entire religion….There is only one who is all powerful, and his greatest weapon is love…. We all wish we had superpowers.  We all wish we could more than we can do.”  We can do something, however, and we should.  “Life is never completely without its challenges. … The power of prayer is still the greatest ever known in this endless eternal universe.”

 

There has always been much discussion about the afterlife but perhaps we need to focus on the community of the here and now.  When we insist on derisiveness and division rather than building community, then we lose not only today’s communities but the chance for those of tomorrow.  We need to be the super heroes of today and offer whatever aid we can to our fellow man.  This is how we grow a community, even one that appears to have been lost.  After all, things are only lost when we stop giving them value.  As long as we value community, we will create it.  Then we will all be super heroes.