Given the opportunity, to do anything or go anywhere, what would you do?
I have often said that I have this bucket list of things I would love to see and do before my life is over. I would love to see the wonders of this country or as many as I am able as I know the wonders great and small are vast and many. I would start here in my own state and then work my way outward. Seeking from the locals the best places to visit that won’t show up on maps of any sort. I’ve also seen so many photos of other countries that draw me to them, wishing I could visit and see for myself their wonders.But that’s me and that’s a dream to think about and smile.
There are other opportunities that are more realistic. If given the opportunity, how would you help others? What would you do, that could and would make a difference for those around you who are in need? Even if, they are not homeless and struggling?
Take this scenario, it is super hot, the temperature is soaring to and beyond record points. For what ever reason, the police or power company linemen are out working in the heat. Trying to direct traffic, trying to repair power lines, trying to do their job in what ever way is needed. Is it so difficult, to offer a bottle of water? A showing that you appreciate their working to make things better.
You see where someone has bumped into a store display, or the thing wasn’t set up properly and collapsed and a single employee is struggling to get it picked up and straightened up. A moment spent helping, can make a big difference in how the rest of their day goes. You’re in the check out line, You have multiple items and a person walks up with just a few things in their hands. Would you allow them to go before you? So they don’t have to stand there juggling their purchase.
What about, that friend that struggles? The one who hasn’t quite found their way and is alone more often than not. Can you take a moment, to call and chat for a while? Offer to meet them for coffee or drop by for a visit when the time is good?
But, what about those in different circumstances? I realize that much has changed due to the pandemic and visits are severely limited to assisted living facilities. There are still ways to show the residents they have not been forgotten. A quick check with the facility to make sure of what is allowed, one can send baskets, gifts, flowers or even simply cards to be handed out. Anything to show, someone thought of them.
What about the senior citizens who live nearby? Do they have all they need? Are they safe in extreme temperatures? Are they making sure they are drinking plenty of fluids and eating enough? Do they too, simply need someone to show they are remembered? Do they need help doing the things that they no longer can do themselves?
What about our children? In one sense, it does take a village. To be watchful over the safety and well being of the children of our perspective neighborhoods. To make sure they are safe, to offer to help busy parents when needed. To help those children who are in need of tutors. To simply sit with them and read, color, work puzzles or discuss the complexities of life.
What of the homeless or the ones who are struggling to keep their homes, or to feed and clothe their family? What can we do, to help them? What do we have, that can be shared? For myself, I will be honest in that I love sweaters, I own way too many sweaters that I have collected over time. I could donate bags of sweaters and still have plenty. Will I? Yes. Will you? But it isn’t just warm weather gear that is needed, any clothing for every season I know is welcomed at shelters and centers that work to help those in need. There are food banks that are always in need. They don’t ask that you put yourself in a bind, they are appreciative of anything you are able to donate.
There are times, when simply acknowledging that a person is there, that they are worthy of being recognized with a simple hello. Speaking to one who is working to serve you in a restaurant, check your purchase out in a store, change the oil in your car in a friendly and respectful manner can make their day better. Offering a hello to the homeless individual you pass, shows you see them and recognize their humanity.
To be able to see something online and scroll past without jumping in with both feet or rather, all fingers and mouth to stir up a mess of trouble. Is also a good way to make a difference. Less hate, less anger, less problems. Being adult enough to realize that we won’t always get our way, accept that and walk on without creating a scene is a good way.
We are given opportunities every day to be the difference in a world that is so very desperately in need of that difference. For the Christian, every single moment, of every day is an opportunity to be like Jesus the Christ. Through our words and our actions we are being the difference. We can show the love we are commanded to show, by the ways already mentioned or by countless others. We can show it to our immediate family, to extended family, to the family of mankind. We are to love, in a Christ like manner, our neighbor. Who is our neighbor? https://www.gotquestions.org/who-is-my-neighbor.html anyone and everyone.
Today, I know I will need to go out and run some errands. My eyes will be open for opportunities given to be the difference for someone, anyone, everyone in some way. How about you?