As I tune in for my once-every-three-days self-imposed trip through Facebookland, I exercise my right not to watch violent videos, angry vents that have no offered antidote, and otherwise depressing, meaningless drivel. I will watch a cat video, all the babies who care to smile my way and things that may make me cry, but it is only because they represent such good in the world. I prefer to try and use the Internet to make the world a better place.
I have often offered in the space, my ideas about doing just that: volunteer, don’t use or ingest stuff with anything laboratory-made in it, choose your words carefully and respectfully, smile at strangers. … But, there are those who go above and beyond that. Way beyond. Some clients this weekend past were there to relax — they have nine children.
Before your eyebrows take flight from your face like mine did at the thought of all the environmental havoc that implies, know that seven of them were adopted. “We got one at a day and a half old, 12 years old, 10 years old …” they went on. Yes, many were from drug-using parents who carried the definite possibility of developmental issues. “I went through the foster care program and know firsthand the need of decent homes for these kids!
“There are 1,600 kids in Tulare County alone, where we’re from, that need to be adopted. We just wish we could do more.”
I believe they have, by their example of an amazing gesture of human compassion and love. I’ve had many friends in my life who have been adopted or adopted children, most had happy endings and others did not.
Nonetheless, those people who go out of their way to make someone else’s life better spread that hope for all of us that we can be OK, that we can find a helping hand when we need one. Even if we’re only a day and a half old and don’t realize we need one yet. I realize not everyone has the capacity to carry on such a monumental task, but it’s good to know there are still people who can.
I learned recently of a business that allows a certain caretaker to bring various garments home from the store to her client so she may try them on before purchasing them. You see, she is in a wheelchair, and fitting clothes in a dressing room is challenging enough for the able-bodied, let alone being totally dependent on another for moving your limbs. That act is making the world a better place by again showing compassion and trust in fellow human beings. What’s the worst that could happen?
I still encourage everyone to practice the six R’s of sustainability — refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle, rot (compost) — by doing things such as donating to charity instead of buying three more pairs of shoes or the latest techno-gadget or ripping out your lawns.
But consider how you can make yet a bigger positive impact on the world — even if you just start by not posting vitriolic, inflammatory or violent messages and images online and focus on positive stories or at least informative ones that carry solutions and constructive ideas to enlighten us about.
That will make life more worthwhile. Thank you, in advance.