Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving Meditation...

It's only 13 days until most of the LEEP team will be able to get together at the worksite for a LEEP work day. And the next day begins our 2nd weekend of Leadership Training!!!

In between, now and then falls a holiday that means a lot to me. Thanksgiving. Sure, the turkey dinner ROCKS (for everyone but the turkey!) but it's a day that always causes me to reflect on what I have been given, what I have earned and what I have given away...There is such prosperity in our lives, and yet we often hoard instead of help.

I've been reading about some of the founders of the microcredit industry and it really amazes me to think that the $4 I might spend for a latte at Starbucks tomorrow could fund an entire start-up industry somewhere in the world!

I grew up in a small Nebraska town. By the time we were in high school, we often felt trapped and sorry for ourselves. Looking back as an adult, I see how lucky we were. Not only were we surrounded by an entire town of people that cared for and about us, but we had activities and destinations that lots of kids in the same-sized towns only wished for: movie theater, bowling alley, swimming pool, etc. We had a terrific football team (Go Bears!) and community events that brought us together.

In 1953, a tornado blew through my hometown. Although I was not yet born, I heard the stories all my life...the courthouse lost its decorative 3rd floor, the high school was destroyed, even the church I grew up in was reduced to rubble. By the time I was growing up, it was all back...better than ever. Larger, stronger and full of the people who helped make it come back. The town did not die because of a strong gust of wind. Within a few weeks, all was back to normal. Buildings were being rebuilt and the community, as well as members of neighboring towns, rallied behind those who lost property.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina blew through a good portion of the South. Some lost no more than a good nights sleep (or two)...but many lost everything, including hundreds who lost their lives. For those left behind, loss of loved ones, property, jobs and their community was devastating. Regardless of your position on the help provided by the government and others, the fact hasn't been enough to complete the healing.

People make the difference in New Orleans. No one person can do everything that needs to be done to make this community a whole and healthy one. Some would say that the community was not a whole and healthy one before Katrina. No matter the BEFORE, we work to help create the AFTER. The Lower 9th Ward Village Community Center is set to be a place for families to BE with one another. This is the basis for community, and the purpose of the Village is COMMUNITY.

As you carve your turkey, ham or tofurkey this coming Thursday, take a moment to BE thankful for what you have. For this day, forget what you might not have, and be thankful for the blessings that surround you. And think about how you can impact the world around person, one dollar, one hour at a time. A wall may cost hundreds of dollars, but the dollar YOU donate pays for a handful of nails. No nails, no walls. Everyone is a contribution to those around us be a contribution for the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans!

...Sheila K

1 comment:

Robert Ruff said...

Very well put.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.