Be The Change

I wrote recently about how important it is for me to raise my children to not be judgmental of other people or their life choices. Today I’m discussing another facet of compassion that grabs my heart and squeezes .

I was walking my dog, Milo, in a field near our house, when another dog came out of the trees and trotted over to us. I was nervous at first because I didn’t know if this dog was aggressive, but it turns out he just wanted to say hi to Milo. This dog was skinny, and had a few cysts under his skin like old dogs get, but otherwise appeared healthy. No collar, although the hair around his neck was indented like he’d had a collar recently. He trotted behind us nearly all the way back to my house, but then meandered between two houses and disappeared. When he didn’t respond to my calls, I got the impression he was deaf. I ran in my house to get food and water and came back out, calling, “Puppy! Puppy!”

Then I hear my neighbor. “Oh, you’re trying to catch him too? I saw him on my way home from Target. I tried to call him, but he won’t come to me.” She was also putting a bowl of water on her porch, and informed me she’d taken a photo of him with her phone and put it on the neighborhood website.

We never caught him or saw him again. My heart breaks knowing he could’ve spent the night out in the cold. Hungry. Tired. Scared.

Yet, I’m left feeling touched by the length people will go to help someone/something in need. It got my mind going down a little trail, remembering how a little boy and his dad came by the house the other day collecting canned goods for the needy. It was cold out with a howling wind, yet they walked, door-to-door, determined. I practically emptied my pantry for them.

Then I recalled the holidays, how our district’s elementary schools adopt thousands of angels to collect toys for so they have gifts to open Christmas morning. I went up to our school to drop something off one day, and saw the hallway lined with bikes purchased by families for the children. Not to mention the bags upon bags upon bags of toys and clothes. It was prettier than any Christmas tree I’ve ever seen.

Our city has a family services pantry, where dozens of shelves are filled with donated foods and basic necessitates for the less fortunate in our area. What an incredible resource for people who need a helping hand. I’m so proud of my town.

These are just drops in an ocean of compassion I know exists around the world. People helping people and animals and the environment. THIS is what it’s all about. Helping others is part of being human. Compassion is imperative to the health of the planet and its inhabitants.

You don’t have to do it all. You don’t have to be Mother Freaking Teresa. All you have to do is care. If you see something that hurts your heart, do something to help, no matter how big or little. That’s all. You never know who could be watching and learning from your actions. Let compassion spread like a gorgeous, lush ivy.

To borrow my favorite quote:

Be the change you want to see in the world

voices

1000 Voices Speak for Compassion was sparked by the incomparable, incredible Lizzi, whose heart is as big as the moon.

Join in and share your stories of compassion, or just tweet #1000Speak to spread the love.

Join the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion group on Facebook.

 

 

61 comments

  1. As I said on another blog post: One small act of kindness can make someone’s day. It doesn’t take much. Even a smile can go a long way for someone who’s having a rough day.

    I hope that poor pup was either found by its owner or brought in by someone who could help him/her. I feel so bad when animals are mistreated.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s so true, Kim! More than once, I’ve been on the receiving end of a kind smile that brightened my entire day. It really does matter.

      I’ve been meaning to ask my neighbor if she knows anything. It’s hard to catch her – we’re both always chauffeuring kid around town!

      Like

  2. Dangit, my dear BW, this is simple and beautiful, and THIS LINE – “If you see something that hurts your heart, do something to help” is everything. That’s it, summed up as simply as I ever saw.

    So sad about the dog. I hope he finds a home somewhere. And your town, and the people in it, sound AWESOME. Wow. I loved reading about the hall where all the toys were donated for the kids for Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “All you have to do is care. If you see something that hurts your heart, do something to help, not matter how big or little. That’s all.” – Yes, yes, yes!!! *applauds and strikes a pose* Be The Change indeed.

    My mind is overwhelmed by all the posts that I’ve read today and yours is the last one that I squeeze in before I go to bed. What a wonderful way to end my day! ^_^

    Side ramble. Did you ever write about Dracula? I realize this is a very random thing to ask, but I’m wondering when we met and I recall something vaguely about vampires and capes.

    *waves* xo

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yay, TJ struck a pose for me! My work here is done.

      I did write something about Dracula once, but it was a while ago and I feel like we met more recently. I think I’ve seen you around Lizzi’s place a while before we “met” on Facebook when I commented on your GORGEOUS art. Then again, I have the memory of a pencil. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hahaha! But you can draw wonderful things with a pencil. Or write, for that matter!

        I looked it up (I realized I could do this AFTER I posted my ramble comment for you. My brain isn’t the smartest at times) and I saw my comment there. Goodness. I thought I was super random and maybe connecting loose memories together. I did saw your Dracula post on Lizzi’s FB and then a bit of silence before we connected on FB again. We did connect more recently though. The balance of the Universe got restored that day! *nods*

        We still need capes. Because, dramatic poses. (especially when you have a fan in the distance.)

        (Thank you so much about the art!)

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Let’s just know in our hearts that dog made disappeared to home that quickly. I was out walking one morning when a young lady (Marine) came driving by with a dog sitting up in the front seat. I knew she was a Marine because we live in a Marine town and she had on the green stuff that they PT in. So I told her about how long I would be out walking and I would be on the lookout for anyone looking for the dog. While I continued to walk I decided that I would take the dog so that she could get to work. When she pulled up to me again she said she called in to work. I thought that was amazingly sweet of her. I didn’t see either of them either but I know in my heart she found the owner.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved your quote: “You don’t have to be Mother Freaking Teresa. All you have to do is care.” I read that and thought, Ah! That’s Beth.

    Everything before it was also beautiful and true. We did a Christmas basket at the office this year for a family in need and one of my first thoughts once I figured out how it worked was, “Why have I never done this before.” I think our family might do it next year as a family.

    A great post in the 1000s!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Louise! I giggled very loud when I read the first part of your comment. Yep, that’s me. haha

      I love the idea of a Christmas basket for a family in need. How amazing. Do your grocery stores have bagged groceries, with the receipt already stapled to it, so shoppers can just put the bag in their cart and purchase meals for families in need? Our Krogers do that, and I think it’s incredible. The bags are typically stacked near the check-out so you can grab one in the price you’re comfortable paying. They usually go anywhere from $7 to $20. It makes it super easy and convenient to help a family in need.

      Like I said before, I LOVE MY TOWN.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t see bags like that regularly here (but good idea) – we do generally have bins after check-out where you can donate. My challenge there is I don’t see them until after and, well, I need the stuff I buy, so I need to think things through a bit more fully….

        But Christmas basket at least is something I think we’ll do next year!

        Like

  6. Wow, they adopt that many angels? That’s wonderful. I think people forget that they can do a little bit. It doesn’t have to be a lot. If we all just did a small thing each day, it would make this world so much better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, Tamara! And yes, each classroom in the thirty or so elementary schools adopts an angel, and the pre-schools and middle schools do it, too. The high schools might, but I don’t know that for a fact since my kiddos are still young. One school has enough classrooms to adopt nearly 40 angels, so I’m sure the number creeps up to 1,000 throughout our town. amazing right? I mean…..WOW. That’s a lot of families helped just through the angel network, not to mention all the other things our city does. Mind boggling.

      Like

  7. Thank you for doing your best to attempt to reach out to that pup. Sorry, I don’t have a lot to say as this post really hit at my heart strings, Beth. You are beautiful person inside and out always my friend. Those of us who love and adore you feel your warmth and caring always. I wish the pup would have had that chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw Mike, I even thought of you when I wrote this. *hugs* sorry it hurt your heart. I’m convinced the dog found his owner. I would’ve seen him around again. And thank you for your incredibly kind words. You’re an angel.

      Like

  8. Awwww…poor dog. That breaks my heart. I have such a soft spot for animals. You are so right though—if everyone would just do one act of kindness every day, what a different world we would be living in!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It always kills me to think of the animals that are homeless and hungry. I would have done the same thing! I love that you live in such a committed community. We do too and I love it. As business owners we try to do as much as we can in our city as well and it’s such a blessing to be able to help others. We are always ready and willing to do what we can.
    The thing that I think really needs to get through is the fact that no act of kindness has to be enormous. In fact, it’s the little things that make such a huge impact. Thank you, Beth, for sharing this and being part of the change!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re so lucky to live in such giving communities, right? Think what it teaches our kids! I’ll never take it for granted. Frisco makes it so easy to give and help, and that’s HUGE.

      Like

  10. I love that your neighbor was out there doing the SAME thing… what a beautiful community of caring COMPASSIONATE people you will with, Beth. All of your examples are so important. And every can, bowl of water, toy, matters to SOMEONE.

    yes- BE the change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “and every can, bowl of water, toy, matters to SOMEONE.” << Absolutely right. Once, a boy scout came by for canned goods and all I had to give away was a can of beans and a can of tuna and I felt bad…..but then later I thought, hey, even those two cans made a difference to someone.

      Like

  11. Drops in an ocean of compassion – I love that. And like you said, I don’t have to fill the entire ocean by myself but every drop counts. I’m so encouraged by all these fabulous #1000Speak posts because I really believe that the world is mostly good. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I hate seeing stray animals, especially in the winter. Heartbreaking like no other. And the presents and the pantry…some of us are so fortunate to have unlimited food and shelter and gifts and everything else. To see people come together and give to those who are less fortunate, warms my soul and makes me think people aren’t such assholes after all.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. So many think they can’t afford to help others. Monetary donations are important (says the wife of a not-for-profit fundraiser), but your time is so valuable to any number of organizations. Volunteer to walk dogs at the humane society. Visit residents of nursing homes who have no family.Those things have such a tremendous impact.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dyanne! Your comment reminds me of another of my favorite quotes by the Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh: (<< who I adore and his books changed my life)

      "The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers."

      Isn't that amazing? I have it on my fridge so I never forget.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My bad! You’re absolutely right, thanks dude. I’ll correct it. That would be really weird if the dog had small stone-built coffin-like boxes under his skin. HA!

      For future reference, feel free to give me some sugah when you enter my comment section. A little “hi there” or “enjoyed the post” goes a long way, you know? I enjoy flowers before the rough stuff as much as any gal. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love the 1000 Voices posts on compassion. What an uplifting time I’ve head reading these posts. I agree with Kim above. Even a small act can have a huge impact on someone’s day. Years ago,during my first teaching position, there was a tornado that had touched down in the town in which I taught. It was about 3:05 PM, but instead of pickup, the kids had to squat down in the hall in “tornado position” while their poor parents had to do the same thing at their own homes until the all-clear was given. One of the 6th grade boys started crying, worrying about his dad, who worked on a farm. I squatted next to him and started talking to him, being really normal, chatty, trying to get him to laugh and ease his worry. I remember this and tell the story not because I felt like I was making a huge impact, but because one of the other teachers got tears in her eyes and later told me that she watched me and was so moved by the fact that I squatted next to him and talked him through it with ease and compassion. HER comment to ME has stuck with me my whole life–this was about 15 years ago–and made me feel good about myself. Her act of compassion–sharing her sweet thoughts about my act of compassion–changed my life for the better. What a beautiful circle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shay, that just gave me chills! ohhhh, I love that beautiful circle! And thank YOU for knowing what to do with that little boy. This touched my heart because almost this exact scenario happened to us a couple years ago – me being one of the parents hiding in the closet while my kiddos were crouched in hallways at the school. WORST FEELING EVER.

      btw, this is off subject, but I read your posts (most) and comment, but afterward I don’t see my comment show up. (?) I hope it shows up later, but if it does I never get notification of your reply. I’m only mentioning because I want you to know I read you!! You’re fecking HILARIOUS.

      Like

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