As the pandemic has continued, and as someone who has been able to work throughout this time, I’ve been exploring ways to donate money and offer support to people who have lost their jobs. With so many people losing work, facing evictions from their homes and experiencing food scarcity, it seems fundamentally important to share resources in whatever ways we can manage. A psychotherapy colleague recently shared with me a way she is responding to the current crisis for people experiencing food scarcity during the pandemic. She located a food bank that was running out of various food items and arranged with Fresh Direct to make a weekly delivery to the food bank. A ministry colleague celebrated his birthday by asking people to donate money to a food bank in his area.
I was truly inspired to read an article about MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, head of Amazon.com. MacKenzie is worth many billions of dollars. She has pledged to give away the majority of her fortune—and she has been true to her word. Here’s a link to the article about how she is doing this: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-15/mackenzie-scott-gives-away-4-2-billion-within-four-months
This got me to thinking about how important it is to be aware of local needs in each of our communities, along with whatever other financial support those of us who are working can offer to local as well as larger non-profit organizations. For this week’s practice, I invite you to do some investigating as to the needs of your local community, or even your immediate neighborhood, and to see what you might offer by way of sharing resources.
The key here is for all of us to be willing to hold in awareness that we are all in this together, we are all one human family, and that, here in the United States, faced with a surprising lack of support from our government, we are compelled to not look away from the needs of our neighbors.
For those who don’t have a lot by way of monetary resources, please remember that small acts of kindness matter a great deal. I think of people who volunteer to deliver Meals on Wheels food, people who volunteer at food banks, of people I’ve heard about who run errands for those who are housebound. Someone recently told me how her nearby neighbor drops off food now and then, sharing the abundance the neighbor’s family enjoys. The more we can collectively be kind to one another, my belief and hope are that we will more automatically empathize with, and offer tangible support for, the suffering and needs of each another.
As with all these practices, please bring along curiosity as your constant companion and allow yourself to be open to unexpected moments of inspiration. And, as always, please pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise, allowing them to move on through without your having to do anything about them. All of us are challenged more than we usually are, and kindness to ourselves is the first step in generating even more kindness toward others.