February 2020 Newsletter
Nothing is ever too small when it comes to giving
For many, life is choreographed with hustle and bustle; not enough hours in the day to meet our commitments, trying to balance between family, work, school, chores, commute, appointments, financial and other responsibilities – which can certainly be stressful. I admit sometimes I need a break from the busyness of life and need to take a step back, refocus and just breathe.
Our friends in Africa find they struggle with many of the same stresses mentioned above, but in addition often lack some of the basic amenities that we often take for granted here in the USA. Some of the communities we have visited do not even have electricity and the nearest water source is a few miles walk away. Others have the privilege of electricity, but usage is limited to only a few hours a day. Anyone who has the luxury of a vehicle might have to wait hours for fuel. Just yesterday, a friend messaged me that he waited 6 ½ hours in line for gas to fill up his car.
This past year, the worst drought in decades covered most of southern Africa causing devastation and suffering for the many who need to live off the land. Friends were sending photos of their gardens dwindling down to nothing and many of their water resources had dried up. Water was not within walking distance to fetch anymore in turn the drought and other issues caused drastic inflation making basic goods seem like unaffordable luxuries.
A recent article published in Zimbabwe shared wages of different jobs. A domestic worker average earnings are around ZWL $168.48 per month which converts to $6 - $7 USD per month. A package of feminine pads cost around $3 USD and they include eight pads. For one menstrual cycle, one might need two to three packages ($6-$9USD/month). Imagine the choices that have to be made.
Why share this information? Sometimes hearing the struggles of others can have a very powerful impact on putting things into perspective. Whether we live in the USA, Europe, UK, Australia, Africa, India, etc., we all march forward with many of the same hopes and desires; to live a happy and healthy life, provide for our families, and make time for those we love. In addition, we try to be responsible for our commitments, be kind and compassionate to others, and also remembering to take time to care for ourselves.
Even when there are not enough hours in the day, lending a hand, a kind thought, a warm smile, can change a moment, a day or even a life. Give when you can and what you can; an ear to listen, share some time, provide a donation, friendship, volunteer, any form of kindness is important. Nothing is ever too small when it comes to giving.
As each of us walk along our journey, it is always important to remember that we need give to ourselves too. Be compassionate, forgiving and understanding to yourself. Allow time for you and do things that let help you reset and grow. This is something I have put on the backburner over the past few years because of “not enough time.” Well, it is a new year and a new focus, and I’m making the time.
We will never be able to make everyone happy nor be able to give enough to solve the world’s problems, but we need to give when we can or when we are led. Listen to your heart. Make a conscious effort to do one kind gesture every day. It truly makes a difference.
Thank you for joining us on this journey.
With gratitude and love,