Monday, April 20, 2015

"Walking by a man lying in the street is not neutral, it is a negative"

I went to the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation event over the weekend to hear three of their leaders speak - three individuals who have been 'vetted by life' and overcame significant challenges that lead them to feel responsible to make circumstances better for others - from pulling boys in Ghana out of the slave trade, to getting girls in Liberia off the streets and into school to eradicating the signficant reading lag in K through 3rd graders in the US.

Dr. Bhavna Shyamalan said, "Walking by a man lying in the street is not neutral, it is a negative" - these three individuals refused to leave anyone lying there and are pulling people out, one by one.

I left the event feeling incredibly inspired and wondering - am I pulling as many people out as I can?  Although I have my trip to Rwanda booked (leaving in 2 months!) and I volunteer on a community committee, the majority of my time is spent at work and raising my daughter.  The truth is, I've always felt I should do more. I even have a shooting star tattooed on my back to remind me of what I am capable of doing, so I would not forget to never settle.

I realized that night that I haven't been at a place where I feel safe to branch further out. I live in a house where I feel under siege - between things breaking and flashbacks to the dramatic end to the marriage.  I didn't chose to live in this house, I ended up living here by circumstance.

In the past 2 months I've set everything else aside and have focused on finding a home for Stella and I.  A solid foundation from which we can continue to build our lives.  I think (hope) I have found that place & if this one doesn't work out, I won't give up until I find the home that is right for us.

I truly believe this is a missing piece to getting my 'maslovian needs' in order - and now I want to do more - help others who's needs aren't met.

Despite wondering if 'doing enough' after hearing these amazing leaders, I attended a fundraising dinner for a soup kitchen where my team at work at served a lunch. After we saw the poor condition of their cooking supplies, we shipped boxes of sets of culinary knives for the kitchen along with blankets and coats and whatever else we could pull together to supply to the homeless people who depend on this facility each day for their meals and services.  Although this was done without thinking twice, the person who runs the soup kitchen found me at the dinner and thanked me for coming through - not for saying that we wanted to help - but for doing it and taking it to the next level but sending the supplies. 

Right now I have the urge to pick everyone up - that passion and buzz inside - but right now I am doing what I can. Right now, I need a home base to start from.  Right now, I need to raise my daughter. But as I go along, I can help on the community committee, I can spend time at the orphanage in Rwanda, making those kids feel special and valued - and I can help a poorly supplied soup kitchen along the way -- what can you do today?

Don't be neutral - don't be a negative - pick someone up.