When I was young and a new student in college, my mother jokingly referred to me as a “forever student”. Little did I know at the time how close to the truth she was. I’m always looking to find out why. To understand situations, ideas, thoughts, people… I’m constantly searching for answers.
To my problems, those of my friends, family, & those concerning our world in general. I drive and see the homeless population living on the streets, ride transit past the Refugee Womens’ Alliance in Columbia Center & reflect on the challenges that must permeate their lives. Some say we control everything that happens to us & others say that its fate and you have no control. Either way, I know there’s a solution to every problem I see. One will not fit every problem, but each permutation will own their own solution. The big question is why can’t we find it? Do we make things harder for ourselves than it really needs to be?
I had the opportunity to hear Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal) speak last summer at Gnomedex 9.0 and learn how homelessness has affected his life and where his journey has taken him and imagine the places he will go and the lives that, although briefly touched, he has & will make a difference in.
I see his journey and wonder to myself where I fit. I have a passion for helping. It is such a vital part of who I am that it has literally fed my soul to volunteer for events and causes. I volunteer time, money and energy to various activities knowing that somewhere, someplace, something I have said or done will make a difference somewhere sometime. I’ve already seen it on small ways with my fitness endeavors. At a recent run when I struggled to keep going the last few meters, an unknown compatriot patted my back in encouragement and told me that she had set her pace off mine and KNEW we would have no problems with those last few feet.
Encouragement does that to a person. It revives them and feeds a small part of them somewhere that feeds their entire engine. It can make a discouraged runner finish a race. A struggling student try harder for better grades, and give HOPE to those who have begun to think there was none.
I have had the unfortunate opportunity to be touched by lives affected by drug use, abuse in its many forms, cancer, premature death and indifferent relationships. I see their issues and many times feel helpless wondering what I could do in their lives to make a difference. I’ve had family members reach the pit of despair and watched helplessly as they lifted themselves up and bettered their lives. At the same time, I see people around me express indifference with their lot in life. They don’t like it, but either don’t want to see a way out, or don’t really care to put forth the effort to do so despite having the desire to see the change.
Life can be so fuzzy sometimes. Recently, I retweeted a quote from someone that basically said do what you love. If you do what you love, “the rest” will follow. This “rest” differs from person to person and I have found that what we believe it is differs also. For myself, I’m a big believer in fate and karma. What you were meant to do will happen in it’s own good time. Good turns beget good turns and vice versa. Certainly, there’s an element of free will, but that free will turns and curves like any good river and still, eventually, takes you down the path you were meant. Where is life taking you? What good will you do in this world?