Category Archives: compassion

warm.

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each year

i happily take part

in a wonderful program

to help warm the children.

through the generosity of the local community

money and time are donated

to provide new warm clothing for children in need.

children are referred

 by school counselors and social workers.

these families meet with volunteer shoppers

to help with the process.

all of the money raised

goes directly to purchasing clothing,

with no administrative costs

subtracted from the donations.

i am one of the volunteers who take the families shopping

and never fail to be amazed by the people i meet.

on my shopping trip this year

i met a single mother whose husband had died

raising sons, 12 and 16

supporting them by working at mcdonald’s,

her oldest son works at taco bell

 she’s had a rough time of things lately

extra money has been harder to come by

both sons are in school, play football, and do chores at home.

when i asked how she was able to do it all

she told me, “life goes up and down. you just do what you have to do.”

 after we shopped for her sons’ winter clothing

we made our way to the register.

 just ahead of us in line

 another family was checking out

who were also program recipients.

after being rung up, it was discovered

that they had gone just a bit over their allotted budget

and were going to have to put something back.

immediately

the mother i had shopped with

reached into her purse

and gave them the $1.89 they needed.

what an incredibly generous act of compassion

from someone who had so little herself

as she helped someone else to warm their children

when we checked out and went to leave

she hugged me and said,

“thank you so much, i always pay it forward.”

 

“to keep a warm heart in winter is the real victory.” 

-marty rubin

participating partners: kiwanis club of ann arbor, washtenaw county, walmart, mlive, old national bank, ann arbor news

https://a2kiwanisfoundation.org/warmthechildren/

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all part of one another.

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what a totally unexpected and much appreciated kindness:

 a sympathy card in the mail

signed by every person in my vet’s office

after helping my pet to pass on peacefully

on my last trip there.

“the whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness

of the interdependence of all these living beings,

which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another.”

-thomas merton

from the heart.

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walking up to the register

i saw the cashier

a bit of an awkward, gawky type

with kind eyes and a worried face

who didn’t appear to have a lot of self-confidence

having just finished with a customer

he was ready to deal with my order.

his head was down

  i said hello

he looked at me and said

“that last customer told me to smile.

he has no idea how hard it is for me

how hard it is to be here right now

no idea what im dealing with

what i’m going through

how it’s a miracle i’m even here

it would be really hard for anyone

 i have to be here until midnight

this is just the beginning of my shift.”

as he quietly told me this

tears began to slowly roll down his face

 he grabbed a box of tissues to wipe them away

all the while continuing to check me out.

 we bagged my things together

as he went on –

“they told me to hold in my emotions

but i think its okay to show them

what’s wrong with that, i think it’s a good thing?”

when he finished with my order

his manager came over

with a compassionate and not angry face

without a word

took over his register

i thanked him for helping me

 agreed that it’s certainly okay to feel and express things

 told him that i hope things will get better

 he walked off in silence and punched out

i hope that he takes a long break

 goes home for the day

 whatever he needs

 has someone waiting for him who will support him

i don’t think he wanted an answer from me

just wanted me to listen

to acknowledge his humanity

his struggles, his emotions

 tell him that it was okay for him to feel and express them

i hope he is back when i stop in for my weekly grocery shop.

i hope that things are better.

“tears come from the heart and not from the brain.”

-leonardo da vinci