Thursday, January 14, 2010

Outside of Myself

Today was not a good day. The lack of compassion I experienced at the hands of others started my day with a slap in the face and the bad feelings promised to tug at my heels all day. By mid-morning, I had a whole blog mapped out in my head and my fingertips were eager to get close to a keyboard. Then, as I went through the day, I kept hearing more and more about the Haitian earthquake catastrophe. By the end of a long day, my migraine was severe but my problems, while valid in my world, seemed much smaller than they did this morning. After a few minutes of television news coverage, I was over myself. I realized that though my issues may be growing, there is someone out there that would trade their life in a heartbeat for a day of living in my sick body. Yet, even with my financial issues, unreasonable health care costs, and illnesses that are robbing me of choices and making major life decisions for me, I wouldn’t trade this life to walk a day in their bodies. With that, I decided to make a new Thank You bracelet today. I plan to use it for a couple of things. I plan to thank God for all of the things that my body does correctly. I also plan to thank God that I am able bodied enough to do what I can for others. After all, "our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds." -George Eliot

So, instead of wallowing in our own pity today, why not look at how we can help others. Instead of drowning our miseries with wine, food, exercise, meaningless TV, etc., why not lift our spirits by doing something good for someone else who needs you more than you can imagine? There are so many opportunities to do good…to step outside of yourself and into the role of compassionate helper. If you can give, do so and if all you can do is pray, start your conversation with God.

If you want to help in Haiti, start by looking at the American Red Cross website ( or Yele Haiti (Wyclef Jean’s grassroots movement focused on raising awareness about Haiti and transforming the country through various programs).