Monday, January 21, 2013

DAY OF SERVICE - DON'T BE AFRAID TO ACT

Today we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

When I hear the name Martin Luther King, two phrases very quickly jump into my mind:

The obvious:  "I have a dream."  And the almost equally obvious and here, paraphrased: ".....judge not by the color of one's skin but by the content of their character."

Those words are now 50 years old.

It seems fitting that the overarching theme is about compassion, understanding, agreeing to disagree and mostly, never sitting in judgement of another.  Ever.  For any reason.

Such a simple rule to use as the basis for a life well lived.  And so rarely followed.

We are all different.  It might be our skin color or our politics or our religious beliefs or lack thereof or in the things that stir our individual passions.  It is through our differences that we learn and it is because of our differences that we become stronger.  Together, each with our own points of view, we bring much to the table of life.

How do we harness such tremendous power so that we may find ways to build bridges rather than construct insurmountable walls?

Through empathy, through love, through reaching out to help those who might benefit from something we might have to offer.

Although today is designated as a day of service, it's not about a single day.  It's about every single day. We all have value and we are all capable of contributing something to ease the burden of another.

I challenge all to do something.  For someone.  It can be as simple as picking up a phone or taking your neighbor's trash cans from the curb or knocking on a door just to let a neighbor know you are there.

Think SMALL.  If we all think SMALL and actually DO something, we will make a tremendous impact.  Reach out.  Connect. Follow your heart and trust your conscious to be your guide.  Let your motivation be from a place of genuine care and concern.  Speak out on behalf of those whose voices are not being heard.  Reach out to those who may need help.

It doesn't matter what you do, it just matters that if you can, you do something.  Even if doing something means accepting the help of another.

For the virtual community, check in on someone.  Read a few blogs and see if someone can use a kind word.  Don't be afraid to say it.  A simple "thinking of you" will go far to several people who are going through some very rough times. Yes, right now... there are a few people on the blogroll, on twitter, on Facebook..... struggling.  Let them know they are not alone.

It's all about simply showing up.  Being present in our own lives so that we may be present for others.

I'm present and I may damn well be afraid, but I am fearless.  And so are you.

~AnneMarie 

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4 comments:

  1. dear anne marie,

    what a wonderful post; so passionate for something so worthwhile and so doable - it really can make a difference, WE can make a difference.

    i cut out a comment from the sunday NYT's magazine section, written by kathleen b. jones, PH.D, Bristol, England in which she cited a line from last week's article about the author, george saunders.

    he wrote, "what a powerful thing to know: that one's own desires are mappable onto strangers."

    dr. jones went onto say, "if we could really live that insight, the world would be better - to see the great, often unbridgeable distance between yourself and "the other" turn into a roadway paved with understanding. to recognize, despite the difference, or maybe because of it, some common humanity between us."

    think about a smile bestowed upon another face, offered in genuine caring and good wishes, when one can see the other person's whole demeanor change, when the light within ourselves gets reflected back to us. it can be that simple.

    often i find myself thinking thoughts of annoyance; i catch myself being impatient and sometimes if what i was thinking was out loud it would surprize those who know me - who knew she could swear like a longshoreman??? if i am lucky and catch myself, i am ashamed. who might that person be, the one not paying attention to the fact that FINALLY the light changed to green? have they just come down the road from the nearby hospital, and are sad, afraid, or devastated by what's happening there with a loved one? is it an older person, not able to always move themselves or their vehicle at world-warp speed? have they just lost their job? are they distracted? are they not feeling well? are they hungry? are they worried about some weird noise their car is making? it could be anything, any human scenario we could ever conjure up. it's at these moments,small teachable one's, that we need to HUMANIZE situations so that we can connect with those "others" with more compassion and less judgement.

    who knows how our world could change for the better with more genuine smiles, and a little patience in traffic?

    much love, XOXO

    karen, TC

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    Replies
    1. Oh how much I agree with your thoughts..... YES! a simple smile and yes, it can be that simple.

      And patience in traffic, especially in NYC..... the value of that? IMMEASURABLE!

      Much love to you,

      xoxox

      Delete
  2. YES! You are so right! Love the post!

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