“I believe this world ain’t half as bad as it looks,
I believe most people are good.” ~Luke Bryan
Summer—the surf, the sand, the warm breezes at night, the time spent with friends. For me summer has been bittersweet. Bitter because due to a house fire, I am displaced; bitter because building a house is fraught with stress brought on with each decision, and with each person’s questions and complaints. Yet sweet because I have had the distance provided by time to recognize what “true goodness” really is. It is nine months post house fire, and as I sit writing this letter I am inspired by some memories of true human goodness, like the friends that chased me down with a hug; that made me run; that gave us gift cards, greeting cards, a home-cooked meal, a place to sleep, handme-down clothes, new clothes, and even “make-a-wish”-type shopping trips for our children.
At the time, I couldn’t handle all that love. It was wildly overwhelming, and I kept saying, “Please, we are fine; we don’t need anything.” Yet, looking back, I did need that—the unique opportunity to truly experience goodness. One of these wildly overwhelming moments of goodness was when my former yoga teacher, Colleen—who I hadn’t really kept in touch with more than a wave when passing each other on the beach, and a promise to be back to yoga soon—called and said: “Steph and I bought a house, but we are still in our rental lease; and Steph is traveling some for Hamilton [she is associate choreographer], so why don’t you and your family move into our brand new home? We can stay in our rental.”
Another act of goodness that truly moved me is when a woman who I had recently become friendly with, Lisa, who on the same night as our fire discovered a lump in her breast that would turn out to be cancerous, still found the time to drop a basket filled with Christmas decorations to replace those that were lost. Here she was preparing for her own battle but stopped to think of others.
Funny, when I started writing this letter, I was angry with folks that focus on themselves. I was disheartened by some behaviors I’ve recently witnessed. I was mad. But, oddly, when pen met paper what came up wasn’t anger but goodness. It was images of Colleen and Lisa and of the world of people around me that choose to live compassionately.
The truth is we cannot control others, we can only control ourselves, and we should allow ourselves to focus on love for humankind and live with a fierce drive to help others. Simply by leading by example, by being good, we can effect change. If not, F ‘em (LOL, guess I am not as “good” as I thought J)!
Truth is, I don’t want to be angry. I want to be Colleen, and not just because she can see Hamilton probably anytime she wants. I want to be Lisa, and not just because she fought cancer with bad-ass, sexy wigs. I want to be them because they live their lives fueled by the drive to help those in need.
This month’s issue features an article written by a local lawyer. After working 10-hour days, five days a week, she finds time to teach a writing workshop on Saturdays for disabled adults. Her name is Patricia Curran. I want to be Patricia.
So, yes, I started this letter in anger, annoyed by the self-focus that some possess; but as it comes to an end, I’m left with this realization: If we all focus on helping each other, and boosting each other up with our thoughts, our words and our actions, our lives will be infinitely more rewarding. Come on folks, let’s do good—let’s “be good”!
Kelly Martinsen, Publisher
Click Here for Kelly Martinsen’s book, A Year of Inspired Living