Friday, May 13, 2011

Hands Across the Planet

[image from cleveland.com]

Hands Across the Planet – Love Abounds!

Wasn't that freaking scary, when Blogger was out of commission? I worried about my entire year's writing, which I do not have backed up, a situation I must rectify very soon. Scared me to death. This has been my most prolific year ever. Losing all that writing is not an option!


But now we're back to normal. And today, kids, I am going to pass along to you a cool little story I’ve come across recently. It is just one small thing that happened on this big old planet, among people who choose to remain nameless, that shows the hearts of most people are basically good, and that it is in small acts of kindness that we can each, if we choose, profoundly impact the world or, at least, someone else.

So, out in blogger-space, one aging woman connected with one young student in Africa, who writes passionately about social justice. Drawn by his poetry and his passion for righting the social ills of the world he inhabits, they make a connection, form a friendship. Within mere weeks, he becomes another grandson.

He was once a little boy sleeping on the ground under a blanket of stars by the village campfire, with the other nomads. But he dreamed big dreams, under those stars and, in time, someone arrived in his life to help put him through school.

Now he is on the last legs of a long push towards completing some post graduate work, some time yet to cross the finish line. He is doing it on his own. His sponsor, who first recognized his brightness and gave it a chance to blossom, told him some time back the rest is up to him. He has been trying to hang on, to make this last push to the finish line. And now, at this very moment that he is scrabbling desperately to complete his objective, the universe sends him a grandmother in the West. The West is wealthy, but she is not. By Western standards, she is at the bottom of the heap. But by African standards, she is certainly far more comfortable than anyone this young lad knows.

First, she thinks small: she will send him a gift.

Then, she has an apparently “random” conversation, in town, one day, in the course of running her errands. But nothing, in this life, is random. She was actually leaving the store when she decided to turn back and tell the storekeeper the story of this young man. Over the years, they have recognized each other as folks who love humanity. They have big hearts for the suffering of the world, and a wish to contribute something good. So she simply thinks, “This man will enjoy hearing about my young friend in Africa.”

Only partway through her story, the storekeeper says, without qualification, and wholeheartedly, (which is the way he does everything): Tell him I will send a hundred dollars a month, if he can find a child to put through school.

At first, she doesn’t understand. He repeats his offer.

In that single moment, in a “random” conversation between two tiny beings on this big but interconnected planet, the lives of children on the other side of the world begins to change.

She recognizes, with the open-hearted and selfless manner in which the young man is thrilled at the chance to help other children as he once was helped, that she has within her means enough to help him in his final push towards his goal, small amounts of western money being able to do great things across the world. Thus, it all comes full circle.

The young man is flabbergasted, humbled and also empowered with the joy of being able to do for other small children what was once done for him. He tells her that the amount of money the man proposes to send is enough to send TEN children through school. Ten children, five little boys and five little girls, who are bright and needy, whose smiles will shine brighter at this unexpected act of kindness from across the world.

This is one amazing world, both the cyber world, and the real, green and blue planet we are making this sojourn on, together.

Never forget: People are capable of great kindness, enormous hope. And life is very good.

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