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Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Days We Lost Our Care

If you witnessed a bad accident on your way to work, would you pull over and help?

How about if you met an addict that was in desperate need of an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on; would you sit and listen?

If someone you love is having hardships they caused themselves; would you help in every way you could?

What if you had all of the answers of the universe, would you give them to those with questions?

What if someone hurt you, or made you angry?  Would you find it within yourself to help them when they are in need?

We live in a dark day.  People are faced with more demons.  Our own lives have become harder to live.  Not enough money, not enough jobs, families falling apart.  There are drugs and murders and law changes bringing us to the darkest of times.

People are suffering, dying; illnesses sweep away huge portions of our population.  There are wars and disagreements.  There is fear and insanity.  Living inside every single one of us, there are small pieces of rage, piling up, creating an explosive volcano.

We are on edge....
We are falling apart....
We have stopped caring...

 Our world is so shattered, we are able to find entertainment in murders and self-destruction on TV with reality shows.  There is enough bad out there to create a fan club out of arrests and murders by creating these shows.

It takes tragedy or death or fear in order to bring people together anymore.  No one loves thy neighbor.  Most of us don't even know our neighbors.  Some of us even hate our neighbors. The majority of us don't care.

We have road rage, we all want to kill that person in the grocery store holding up the line, and we hate that guy who walked in front of our car without even looking.  We are an angry society.  We are hateful and careless.  Our problems are always worse than the next person.  Our hardships have become badges we wear on our sleeves in order to one-up someone who approaches us.  We judge everyone.  "Oh, I don't care that your dad beat you, that's no reason to start shooting heroin!"

And I'll admit, I'm right there with every single one of the people on this planet who has developed this mentality.  But what I want to know is why are we like this?  What happened to society?  What happened to the days where we'd see someone broken down on the side of the road and actually pull over and help?  We just look at the situation and keep on driving.  We have to start noticing people.  These people that we are connected to.



Every once in a while, when I'm in the drive-thru, I'll pay for the person behind me.  I usually do it around the holidays since I know how stressful and often depressing the holidays are for people.  However, in July 2010, I decided to pay for the order of the guy behind me at Dunkin Donuts in town.

I was feeling very thankful and appreciative of life since my father was suffering from cancer and I was learning so much from him at that time.  I had hope.  I wanted to share the kindness he was giving me.

This day, was just like any other.  I told the girl at the window my story and to pass the message on to the guy that life is too short, so be kind when you can.  And I pulled out of the parking lot and life went on.

A few weeks later, I received a card in the mail.  It was from the guy at the drive-thru.  He got my information from a cop he knew after getting my plate number.

In the card, he wrote a note telling me that earlier that week, his wife left him and he found out his mother had cancer.  His week and his life was falling apart.  However, having me pay for his coffee that day, the day he wanted to give up, told him that there is still some good in this world.

Inside the card was a $50 gift card to a local restaurant I've been wanting to visit.  I was so shocked and excited, but more importantly, I was happy I made a difference.

The real kicker is that he knew my father.  When the girl told him the story I told her about my father, he put the pieces together and realized I was Tighe's daughter.  So, in his note, he told me how devastated he was to hear about my father and that my father is a great man.  His exact words were, "I'm not much of a praying man, but I pray for your father every single night."

And that one small gesture, paying for someone's coffee, made me realize that once we start caring, once we rid ourselves of our own demons and remember that someone out there needs help that we can provide, our own lives will begin to heal.  Our own problems and complexes and angst will heal.  I don't think we'll all receive thank yous or gift cards, but I do think that our karma will balance and all of the bad things we face will become easier, the pain will lessen, and the smile on the faces of those we help will cure our souls of our own wrong-doings.

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