No doubt about it we are living in interesting times. The length of time you’ve been on this earth probably reflects your level of disappointment in the direction humanity seems to be heading. Being middle-aged, I am not only concerned for my future but my son and granddaughter’s too.
Reading social media posts and talking to people, I get a sense of apathy, frustration, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that there is any hope of making a difference. It is easy to believe that we have no power for change, so why bother. It seems only big changes will help and being just one person…well, how can that do anything?
Actually you do have power, lots of it. You can make a difference in your life, every day and in the lives of those around you. Morro Bay is a small town, if a few people take this attitude, it can have a benefit to our community. Even in big cities, this can be powerful.
For example, last night I was in the checkout line at the grocery store and the guy in front of me was ready to pay and grabbed a lighter off the “impulse buy” shelf and put it on the conveyor belt. The clerk rang him up and it turns out he was a dollar short to pay for everything. I offered to pay the dollar and the guy was more than grateful. Now was the lighter for cigarettes and I could have lengthened his life by not buying the lighter? I don’t know. He was scruffily dressed and could have been without shelter or limited shelter and that lighter might have helped keep him warm. It was not my place to judge, but to do something nice. A dollar isn’t much, but who knows how much it was worth to that guy. I ended up feeling pretty good about that gesture and even though it was so little, it might have been huge for him.
You never know how a smile, a kind word, an unexpected gift of food or service might make a difference to someone. At the Morro Bay Community dinner last month it was amazing to hear how grateful people were for the food and sharing with others. I was just the “mashed potatoe” girl and Kim was the “veggie” girl, but we sure saw a lot of smiling and happy faces. Many of them were people that are homeless or shut-ins that don’t go out much. It was so wonderful to see the room full of anyone and everyone sharing a meal regardless of circumstances.
With current circumstances in the world, we need more kindness and where better to make a difference than in your own community and with those you share it with. Look for the stranger; the young over-whelmed mother, the senior that needs their trash put out, the person walking in the cold, the down and out person that could use a dollar to eat.