When kindness goes around the world
I have reframed my idea of humanity and purpose many times over the last year.
In my 20s, I brushed these thoughts aside. Now, in my 30s, there is a nagging fear in me that I’ve been wasting my life.
2015 is coming to an end and I don't have an answer yet.
Along comes the story of Safyre Terry – the victim of an intentional fire where her father and three siblings perished.
The only reason Safyre is alive today is that her father used his body to shield her from the flames. The young girl still suffered severe burns and lost a hand and foot.
I was not just inspired by Safyre and her father but also her aunt and uncle who rallied around her. They took her in, loved her as their own, alongside four kids and an elderly lady.
When the sole bread winner, her uncle, lost his job and had to undergo surgery himself, the bills mounted. With their overcrowded rental home about to be repossessed, a friend crowdsourced to raise funds.
The amount raised far exceeded the $15,000 goal.
What struck me was no one said “no” down the line, in the midst of their own pain and responsibilities.
Her father who gave his life for her, her aunt and uncle, the four kids whose parents had to take time away from them to care for her, the friend who wanted to help.
The courage, resilience and love that they have shown touched my heart.
I have never really stopped to think that I may have to depend on the kindness of strangers someday.
I could have been Safyre. Any of us could be her.
News that she wanted people to send her cards for Christmas coincided with a Christmas card crafting party I was organising. So I decided to ask everyone to make cards for her. I am also going to make a small donation.
But what do you write in a card for someone who has been through so much at such a young age?
I decided to carry on the spirit of these people, the simple thought that someone who cares can make a difference.
I am going to tell her I may be far away but I am sending my love to her. Which is all there is to doing good, really - people finding a way to chip in.
Through this, I have found some peace that I don't need to have all the answers. I may never have all the answers. I can keep seeking, exploring and finding, while remembering to chip in.