It is interesting to me that we need a “Telethon” to show we care about each other in order to feel compelled to offer financial support in an effort to help in some particular time of need. It should not surprise me really. We are at a time when we gear up to “un-friend” those who do not think similarly or perhaps disagree with us with a push of a button. Gone are the days of polite discussion (or even heated discussion for that matter) where we can disagree but remain respectful to others, and in my view, to ourselves. It is a sad day indeed when we need someone to tell us to reach out a helping hand. Sadder yet when we promote disaster like a business only to find the next overwhelming circumstance overshadowing the last. It is downright pathetic when we have come to the place where unless it directly affects us we can no longer manage to take a moment to care or even imagine the impact that affects one or another. Not until a camera forced in the face of a starving child, a homeless person, or an abandoned animal, do we feel concern. I am beginning to think it must take a stomach turning visual for us to feel ashamed and show compassion.
Here is the thing folks – reach out a helping hand when and where you can. Lend an ear for a moment. Keep kindness in circulation…always. It does not take millions, but a genuine smile can be worth thousands. A meal shared with another might keep a person or animal physically and/or mentally going for days and the love and caring it can provide might keep some filled for weeks. Perhaps it may be just the spark needed to see that not all is lost and they can rise above whatever they might be struggling with.
I am not going to sugar coat this. Some of us seem so starved for attention that the least glimmer of caring can unleash a seemingly exhaustive wave of need. That is ours to manage rather than shun. With assurances that we are not practicing the once-a-year telethon-mindset or a onetime opportunity and how with practice we can revisit the concept of caring. We can let these starved individuals know we will be there again with a shoulder, a hand, a smile or an ear or even a dollar. Practice this and we will get better at soothing our own souls and feel safer in our own skin as we learn about the plight and fancies of those around us until it no longer takes an event of magnitude to bring us together.
Who have we become when we can easily spend $20 at the convenience store for a one in a trillion chance to win millions? Yet we have to hire a bank of volunteers to answer phones and provide A-list celebrities to hold our interest while another human being begs us for any amount in the name of kindness and caring?
I watch as we get in our cars each day and put on a stern game face to maneuver through the throngs of others, often just like us, to get to a place where we can provide for ourselves and, God forbid, maybe another. Do we really need someone to remind us when a helping hand is appropriate? Do we need to be cold-called and our tragedies promoted to offer help? It only takes a second to let someone go before us who is on the same path. Are we so afraid to be taken advantage of that any kindness appears to show our weakness rather than our goodness? Have we become so misguided that every courtesy appears to us as some sort of threat? I am here to tell you that a smile from a stranger does not have to equate to them wanting to put their hand in our pockets. In reality, for some it might, but we are a smart lot and if we trust our God given instincts, we know the difference.
I wish for a telethon that lacks A-listers but rather is a production to remind us of the human qualities rather than frailties that each of us possess. The compassion with which we all can manage to understand and grasp good fortune in small doses with some sort of regularity rather than hoping to rack up millions at a time or two. (Maybe that is why I love The Voice or America’s Got Talent so much.) These kinds of daily responses will clear the way for every one of us to participate in this thing we call human nature. The very nature that allows us to celebrate with each other and grieve for one another with a willingness to navigate both. The very nature that allows another’s success to be an inspiration rather than a jealousy. The very nature that is essential in assisting us to care for another’s grief and in turn empower us all to carry on.
Can money constantly and consistently circulate much like the blood coursing through our veins? We can benefit more by it than just the self. Without circulation we will die. With it, we can thrive. By giving a little on a regular basis we see how it offers life to those in need while regenerating itself and thriving in ourselves. It is the same really. Like blood, water, money and love, a little in frequent intervals is the only promoting we all truly need to thrive as a whole. It circulates within us and does not stagnate. It can foster a sense of freshness and renewed spirit. When offered it can be beneficially contagious. It can heal and touch us all, young, old, abundant or wanting, it has no preference and should be there to benefit the whole, the family, the community, the planet. Like a tiny stone tossed in a still pool it ripples out and is far reaching.
Say no to sponsored “big business” telethons. Say yes to your own personal telethon of caring and giving. Remember giving does not necessarily require a trip to the bank or writing a check. When was the last time you offered your neighbor a smile, a warm coffee cake, a broom to help clear a path while getting to know them? Give it a try. Let me know how it works. I’m “Decidedly Debra” writing under the “Frankly Francine” sight and I approve this message.