Some Holiday Self-Reflection

As the economy rolls along, it’s easy for each of us to exclusively focus on our own worlds. We live in a nice pocket of prosperity, and distractions abound. Which car should I buy? Where should I move to next?

This is understandable. We all work hard and want to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Yet Thanksgiving is a reminder that we’re giving thanks for good things in our lives, like family, friends, food, shelter, and so much more.

A friend invited me to a recent dinner held by Interfaith Community Services, thanking the cream of north county for 40 years of support.

There I witnessed obviously well-off folks who dedicate themselves to helping those with little or nothing. I heard stories of fellow citizens left with nowhere to turn due to harsh economic realities, medical conditions, divorce, or worse.

“You were the only ones who would help me,” was a common theme.  

Those not worried about their next meal sometimes dismiss the homeless and hungry as lazy or mentally ill. Sometimes that’s even true.

But nobody can convince me that the mother living in her van for three weeks, without resources and only a box of Cheerios to feed two children, wishes to live this way.

When a shower and laundry facilities are considered a luxury…when a job is out of reach for lack of a permanent address…when your ID and belongings are stolen while you’re sleeping…when this is the sort of existence you’re living, and nobody wants to acknowledge you…THIS is when we need ICS and its support network.

So as you stuff yourself on dinner, pie, and football, remember those among us with little or nothing. If there are leftovers from your holiday party, bring them to people living on the street. Invite a lonely neighbor in for coffee. Call your aging mother. Volunteer.

Consider that there are some very fine people among the Interfaith clientele; people with talent, who will be an asset to society…and an employer. People whom we remember at the holidays, but who are also hungry in February.

Then look around your business and see if there’s a position you’ve been looking to fill. And reach out to Tiffany Hance to connect with qualified job seekers.

Because though your family’s enjoyed 11 years of economic growth, for many it’s still a rough world out there.

Food for thought. Happy Thanksgiving.

6 Replies to “Some Holiday Self-Reflection

  1. Beautiful Rob. Thank you for reminding us all and giving perspective. In the end it could be any of us without a home and on the street. Much gratitude for the fact that we are not, today. And for our ability to make room in our hearts and homes for those who are.

    1. The real question is how many of us will remember this lesson three months from now? Far too few, I fear.

  2. This is a story that never seems to end these days. Today I started a volunteer job driving Oceanside seniors to their medical appointments. Keeping it simple, I picked up an 85ish year old woman from a non descript trailer home where she is living out her final years with omni present oxygen, bad legs and many other issues. She said she will likely spend Thanksgiving alone. It was a joy of internal warmth to provide for her this day.

  3. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You are so right. We need to reach out and help. Some of us need to follow a leader like you to co-join a group who gather together to help the needy.

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