Who Can You Count On?

prime purpose is to help others Dalai Lama

When there is a crisis in your life, who do you turn to? Who will be there helping you before you ask? While you are thinking about those questions, let me share a very personal story.

In 2003 I experienced the most challenging circumstance of my life. It was more heart wrenching than the death of my parents or my divorce nine years later. My husband spent sixteen days in the ICU and without exaggeration, about half of that time I didn’t know if he was going to make it. The most difficult decision I’ve ever made was taking my two sons, ages 9 and 12, to the ICU to see their father. I didn’t know if it would be the last time they would see him alive and I needed to prepare them for whatever may happen. The boys had gone to school one day only to come home and find a neighbor there instead of their parents, so I needed them to know that their dad was in the hospital and very ill. I postponed taking them to the hospital for several days, yet when the doctors were unsure about his recovery, I finally had to make a choice. Thirteen years later, just thinking about what my sons went through still brings me to tears.

During that difficult period something truly wonderful also occurred. I’ve never been a person who would ask for help and my friends and family are aware of this. When I needed them most, they came to my rescue. Knowing that I was spending most of my time at the hospital, my best friend flew across the country and planted herself in my home orchestrating everything from meals to homework. During this same time frame I needed to prepare our house to be sold. Several neighbors got together and created a schedule to do everything needed to the house. One of their churches donated the paint and my neighbors painted the house, cleaned gutters, power-washed the driveway and planted flowers. When my husband came home from the hospital, the house was ready to go on the market.

Now let me tell you why I shared this story. I’m tired of the division that I see in my country. The upcoming presidential election in the United States is bringing differences to the forefront. The acts of terrorism and groups calling for the death of others (different from them) disgusts me. However I know that only love can heal, so I don’t want to spend time focusing on the negatives.

At the beginning of this blog, I asked you some questions. I want to provide my own insight into your answers. I seriously doubt that the government or any of it’s agencies were the ones who came to you in your time of need. It is our family, our friends and the communities we live in, that provide us the support and help when we need it most. Why? Because that is what we do ourselves. When our family, neighbors or community are in need, we as individuals answer the call. Helping another who is in crisis brings out the best in us as human beings.

I believe that I’m blessed to live in a country where we have the opportunity, and in my way of thinking – the responsibility to vote for those who will run the government. However, my life doesn’t change dramatically whether it is a Democrat or Republican in the White House. My life is affected far more by what happens in the community I live in, the company I work for, and the people I chose to spend time with. I find most of our elected officials operate in a different reality than the parent who works all day, drives like a bat out of hell to get to their kids game and falls into bed hours later, exhausted. Rather than focus on division, I encourage you to recognize those individuals that truly make a difference in your life and spend more energy showing them love – whatever that looks like.

Feel free to leave comments or express your own opinion.

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