Saturday, March 31, 2007

Humanity is alive and well

I'll admit that I am prone to complain a lot. I'd like to think that it's not so much, like poor me kinda stuff (that's usually not my style;) but I complain about whatever I consider to be injustices, ie: The Deal or No Deal Situation, or the uprising of the mediocre etc. Maybe they're not so much complaints as gripes; but anyway, what I want to get at is, as much as I can complain or gripe, I definitely take great pleasure in discussing what is good and right in the world when I have occasion to witness it.

The other day my friend Tiffany suffered a terrible tragedy when her 7 year old nephew accidentally shot himself in the eye with a pellet gun that he found in his garage. Tiffany's nephew was rushed to the ER, flown to the closest pediatric hospital and underwent surgery; but sadly, he did not make it.
Tiffany was devastated as ANYONE would be; and she planned to fly to Iowa to be with her sister, but the last minute airfare was not cheap; $600.00
Our friend Kara sent an email to all of their mutual friends as well as her relatives and Tiff's neighbors. Kara wrote of the tragedy and advised that she would be collecting contributions towards Tiffany's airfare; if anyone felt that they wanted to help out.

Tiffany is the type of person who is always there when you need her. Last year my son had been in the hospital for a few days because he was in asthmatic distress; and as soon as Tiffany heard about my sons hospitalization (from Kara,) she called to see what she could do. I hadn't had anything to eat for dinner and Tiffany offered to drive up late at night to bring me something to eat; she only lived 45 minutes from the hospital. I declined- I told her that I was sure that I could live off of my body fat for one night; but she then insisted that she would be there the next morning, no matter what I had to say about it. Tiffany showed up with Starbuck's and a scrapbooking magazine for me, a balloon and some coloring books for my son and some various other treats, if my memory serves me correctly - that's just the type of person that Tiffany is; and I could go on and on.

Since Tiffany has been such a good friend to me, of course I wanted to help her; but just one day after my $840 dentist bill, I didn't have much to contribute. I spoke with my husband and we planned to contribute $25 since our finances were so tight. I was trying to figure out what else I could do to help Tiffany so I decided to email everyone that Kara didn't know; like women that Tiffany and I scrapbook with and other friends of mine who have met Tiff.
I forwarded Kara's email with an introduction that explained "although you might not know Tiffany very well, I thought you would want to know about the tragedy that she has experienced." And then it happened... Women who have only met Tiffany a couple of times started contacting me to tell me that they wanted to contribute. Jenny and Lisa B and Lesa G and my friend Michelle K who hasn't even seen or spoken to Tiffany in over a year wanted to contribute, and my friend Rachel who lives in Santa Monica and comes in a couple of times a year, wanted to contribute; and my friend Jackie, who has been undergoing her own tragedies day in and day out, wanted to contribute and then the one that brought me to tears; Jackie's mother wanted to contribute. Now Jackie has become one of my closest friends and we spend a lot of time together, but I haven't even met her mom yet, so needless to say neither has Tiffany - and here was Jackie's mom giving a $50 contribution to a woman she never met... People can be GOOD!! People can pitch in when others are down because they recognize that this tragedy could have just as easily happened to them or someone that they are close to; or they recognize that there is pain and suffering in life and sometimes you just need to help because it is the right thing to do.
In a world where we often see the worst sides of people, it is so unexpected and delightful when people show you just how good we CAN BE to each other. People can AMAZE you; but it is kinda sad that generosity and compassion would be causes for amazement. Nonetheless, I was amazed and thankfully so. I was overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers and so thankful that we were all able to come together and help make things a little easier for Tiffany because I know that she would have been one of the first ones to do the same for someone else.
Certainly I am not the Queen of, oh what's that word? Like when someone of importance bestows you with a compliment? Well you know what I mean, it's not like my praise is going to get you into heaven or get you a Nobel peace prize, or really even matters, but I'll give it anyway - accolades to all of you who showed that humanity is alive and well.
Thank you so much for taking the time to care.
Till next time...


Anonymous said...

You are so right, it's a much tougher world we live in, and to be able to give monetarily or just our prayers to Tiffany or a stranger, helps so much in the cynical world we live in. We should all be more willing to open out pockets and our hearts to those in need, there in nothing better than giving of yourself or your time to anyone who needs it, you'll get it back, gaurenteed, 100%. Life isn't about what you have, it's about the friends and serving others, and humbling ourselves in the process.

Anonymous said...

This was so beautiful - thanks for sharing these thoughts. As a fundraiser, I'm not too surprised when I hear a story like this. I hear from people every day who just want to matter, to make a difference, and it doesn't take a lot of money to do it - it takes the awareness of yourself as truly blessed no matter what you have. You don't have to look hard to find someone who needs love and support, whether it be in words, deeds, or with a donation of money.