Tonight I was reminded of how I personally attempt to make the world a better place.
I don't march in parades, or volunteer in political causes, or write letters to the editor, although I applaud those who do and respect their passion.
I simply try very hard to role model my values and morals (secular though they may be) to my children, and in doing so, teach them at the core that they have the power to make a difference.
Tonight, we were in one of our favorite thrift stores. We know a number of the employees, one of which always greets us with a big smile, calling us "The Happy Family". Tonight when we said hello, it was abundantly clear that something was amiss. She had a "social" smile on. We stopped and asked her if she really was okay, and the tears began to flow. She wasn't. She was undergoing serious medical testing and so far the results were discouraging.
I offered--and gave--a hug. I asked her if she had a support system in place to help her ,and she said that so far, she hasn't shared the information with her mother or her husband. That is such a terrible burden to carry alone. I gave her my name and phone number and told her that if she needed someone to meet for coffee, call and vent to, or hold her hand at the doctor's office to call me. Will she? I don't know, but how could I not offer?
On the way home, I was talking about this, because Caspian was there to see what happened. I told him, this is how I hope to change the world, with kindness. And if you see it, you will do it too. And if you do, your children will and your children's children. And if enough of us do that, if we model kindness and compassion, if we reach out to those who are in need, it will ripple outwards.
We can't cure the world. There will always be illness, violence, cruelty, and anger. But, I hope, that by raising children who have seen the opposite modeled. my great-great-great granchildren will live in a happier, more peaceful world.
One action at a time.