Tag Archives: help

The Poverty of Hope

Someone You Know is Living in Poverty

October 1, 2017

What does poverty look like? Tattered clothes, unwashed hair, a gaunt reflection or, maybe, dirty drinking water. Yes, it is all of these things. But what about the poverty right next door, in the row of cubicles you sit in every day . . . or your own home?

When we think of poverty, our minds often turn to economics. We think of food, shelter and the amenities of what we deem to be physically necessary to life. I was reminded today, as I sat on a comfy chair, sipped my latte and looked around me, that poverty is more than being poor in material goods . . . there is a poverty of hope. It hit me like a punch in the gut and brought me to tears to really tune into the level of hope in those around me.

Insufficient, deficit, scarce—whatever you call it, a lack of hope can create a poverty of the soul. Sullen shoulders, a vacant stare, a distracted longing. It should make you ache to think about it. Look up from your cell phone and really see the people around you. Is someone struggling under the burdens of despair, past choices or a feeling of unworthiness? That hurt needs hope.

Just like you give your spare change to help others in need or donate warm clothes to those in need this fall, give of your hopeful energy and share warm hugs of support. Even as one of the richest nations in the world, we suffer from a great epidemic of the poverty of hope. It’s easy to believe that “me is enough,” that you “don’t want to interfere” or that you have “too much on my plate already.” I call bullshit.

No one was created to be lonely or go it alone. Love and kindness are never interfering (we both know that’s an excuse for inaction). And yes, we all have a ton of distracting tasks and weighty to-dos, but giving to others is the best way to get right in your own life.

The poverty of hope is not something that I, you or any of us can tackle solo—we must turn to each other in humility, care and mercy to share the hope we have and reverse this trend of poverty in our neighbors, families and communities.

Start by showing up for the next person you see . . . a smile, a bright hello, an offer of assistance, a prayer . . . every little act is an investment in their life and your own.

Giving It All for Hope

January 9, 2014

As I sit typing this post, tears are streaming down my face. I’m unashamed. You see, when the soul is moved to such a level, action must follow. Direct, immediate action.

I just finished watching this video:

I cry not just for the beautiful, innocent faces of these forgotten children. I cry for the plight of their parents and the pressures, fears and desperation that must have lead to this decision. I do not judge, not one ounce. And I do not ignore the issue because it happens to be thousands of miles around the globe.

I am thankful for this amazing man, Pastor Lee, and the simplest mission: hope.

Hope that other little angels are not left for dead on a cold street, overlooked by so many where abandonment has become so commonplace. Hope that ALL human life is considered precious, worthy and welcome. Hope that other kind souls will step up to voice, to share and to support orphans everywhere.

So many people feel lost, like orphans from God. He has not forgotten us, He simply gave us free will . . . and we use it for both good and evil. Our heavenly Father is always there, with infinite love, with the offer of grace and with the spirit of hope. We are, as the site alludes, kindred to one another in every way. We simply choose to forget that truth.

Yesterday, as I meditated, the word “kindred” came to mind. I didn’t know then why it was calling to me. I most definitely do now. Here is a bold, moving and raw reminder of what being kindred truly means.

Another reason it hits home with such emotional force is that my dear, loving mom was adopted. She has spent her entire life building a path for her children to follow, a home to keep us safe and a set of values that says NO ONE will ever be overlooked.

For my mom, for every orphan, for our very well-being as a human race, I shout, “Help others with hope!” How? I don’t have much to offer but I will give all I have, every penny I receive from every book sold this year (paperback and Kindle) will go to this mission.

buy-now

If you choose not to buy, then donate. At least share and, no matter what, pray for these and orphans everywhere. For hope should be the legacy we give every child.

Screw with Someone’s Day

September 24, 2013

Think back to a time, perhaps in the not-so-distant past, when you found your day in unexpected upheaval due to what seemed like such a trivial cause—a faulty brake light, an important piece of mail that never arrived or a flat tire. Now, what if you could save someone else from that frustration?

Let me introduce Exhibit A, otherwise known as a common screw.

Turn the Screw

You see, this screw has a story. He won’t tell me all of it (secretive fellow) but I do know for certain that he ended up in a parking space at the mall a couple of days ago, just down the aisle from the bookstore I was visiting. I saw him glinting mischievously in the Arizona sun from behind an SUV.

At first, I thought to myself, “If someone dropped it, they may be back for it.” But then, as logic seeped into my vivid imagination, I realized that this screw had the potential to truly “screw up” someone’s day, namely the owner of the SUV if they backed over it and punctured a tire. So, all shiny and sunny warm, I picked him up and decided to avoid a potential roadside assistance scenario for this family.

Yes, we could get into a long discussion about causality and recognizing lessons for others (another time). For this post, I want to “point” out that we each have the power to intervene in fairly obvious disruptions and keep others from calamity. Consider these situations:

  • You see a coworker with food stuck in her teeth before a big presentation
  • You notice a child reaching dangerously over the edge of a shopping cart
  • You catch sight of something falling from someone’s wallet
  • You receive mail for someone previously at your address not labeled “or current resident”
  • You see a brake light out in the car next to you at your favorite restaurant
  • You watch someone holding a cutting implement or tool the wrong way
  • You realize the woman leaving the bathroom has an issue with her skirt’s direction
  • You notice a nail, broken glass or other sharp item near a playground
  • You realize the bathroom stall is now out of toilet paper

In other words, you perceive something that (with just a small comment, tip or bend to pick it up) could save harm, hassle and headaches for others. The idea that we just say “c’est la vie” to everything and fend for ourselves is not what grace, love or humanity are about.

And yes, the person you tell may be resistant, embarrassed, rude or ignore you. Respectfully, get over it. Doing good for pats on the back is filtering your potential; do good because it’s the right thing to do and sets a worthy example.

So, what I’m asking of you is to find ways to “turn the screw” around and keep others from unnecessary pain. Who knows how many times God, a friend, a loved one or a stranger may be doing the same for you.