"What does it profit a man, to amass wealth but lose his soul?"
"It will be a cold winter and thousands of homeless remain each night without food and shelter, regardless of why they are out there, help if you can. Many families will not have massive expensive dinners or Christmas gift openings this holiday, not because they wouldn't like to but because they can't. I challenge everyone out there to do something remarkable for someone else this year, not because you must but only if you can. There is no greater gift then bringing joy to someone like a light in the darkness."
This is my son’s status update on Facebook. The day before he posted this, my 22 year old man-child called me and said “Momma, let’s do something for a stranger…it’s been on my mind a lot lately, can we?” I was all over it and the brainstorming began. There was not one ounce of anything even remotely negative that I could grab from doing this. I began rallying the troops. A friend jumped on board without hesitation. A bag lunch prepared for the homeless downtown was on the agenda. One little hiccup in the road....very quickly I was reminded that most of those homeless people don’t need to be homeless, most of them are drinkers and addicts and why would people waste their time? I honestly don’t know why I’m surprised by this attitude and sadly I had already started to prepare a rebuttle in my mind for just this kind of moment. After all it seems that there are far more jaded and cynical people in the world than hopeful, undaunted souls and sooooooo nonetheless…I had something to say.
We cry for babies that people throw away as if they are trash, yet stomp our feet in hatred when two gay men take an orphaned child as their own.
We question why we feel so alone in the world, but gossip about our own families.
We preach kindness and manners to our children but stab each other in the backs daily with our words and actions.
We shout at the top of our lungs that we’re Christians and then judge how far away someone stands from God and even worse, we stand in a superior position of insisting that their God is not as awesome as our God.
We convey over and over that love is the greatest gift that a person can possess, and then cast our eyes down on people who love the same sex.
We feel free to express our own creativity in whatever way we choose but assume that someone else must be troubled if they take their creativity too far by our standards.
We say we are thankful that we have people to do all the menial jobs we don’t have time for, but then whisper behind our hand “What a sad life, I mean he’s just a janitor.”
We drill into our sons that they are to be tough and strong and rigid and that boys don't cry and then wonder why men are disconnected and unable to be sensitive towards their wives.
We raise our daughters to think that they are to be treated like a princess, that they are owed that, and then wonder why they grow up with a sense of entitlement.
We waste time we can’t recover whispering behind someone’s back about how dysfunctional their marriage is and watch as our own marriages dissolve.
We say that the homeless situation is out of control but protest having “those” people in our neighborhoods.
We whine about wanting change in the world....but find every excuse as to why change will never happen...
I will admit, I was a little sad when it was conveyed to me, that there isn’t any point in doing this. It’s not like it’s going to change their life. They are going to keep doing what they are doing and this is possibly true. But here’s the honest truth...my truth that is..:) I’m not doing it for them so much as I’m doing it for myself. How selfish is that to admit? See I figure if I spend an afternoon downtown, I’ll be reminded of how much I have. I’ll be reminded of how warm my house is, albeit small, when I go inside after being out in the cold for a few hours. I’ll be reminded that I don’t ever have to hear my stomach growl, nor do I ever have to look into my kid’s eyes while they cry for food. When I crawl into bed beside the one who loves me through all the valleys, I’ll be reminded that I am never left to face the darkness alone. When I wake up on Christmas morning, I’ll be reminded that I truly want for nothing and when I go into work to do the job that some people classify as “just administrative tasks” I’ll be thankful that I can pay my own way through life. So yeah, I’m all about this lil trip downtown with my boy. If there happens to be one person who takes a buck from their own cup and throws it in someone else’s, well now….that’s just a bonus.
I refuse to reach a place where I become jaded like the rest. Gosh...life is hard enough, it plays the cruelest of jokes on you and forces you to make a choice, stand up over and over again after each punch or stay down and quit. The thing is, I can’t quit. I’m busy raising humans. I’m raising boys that will be men one day, dads one day and husbands one day. I’m raising a girl to be a mother and wife one day. I’m busy reminding them that kindness matters, give more than you take, you are no better or no worse than anyone else, holding onto anger makes you bitter, don’t let yourself get walked on and don’t trample on anyone else to get further ahead…. and this is your one life….make it count…..give it everything you’ve got and when you’ve got nothing left to give….dig deeper and find a little more.
So yeah….what my boy said….gosh I’m proud of that man. Over the top proud that he shares my attitude that it is not my job to judge why someone is where they are. At the end of the day sure as heck I’m gonna go ahead and give out sandwiches and bottles of water and I’m totally fine with being selfish in this case.
“You can’t save the world…but you can choose to give whatever you can, where ever you can, as often as you can.”