You are me, and I am you.
Isn't it obvious that we "inter-are"?
You cultivate the flower in yourself,
so that I will be beautiful.
I transform the garbage in myself,
so that you will not have to suffer.
I support you;
you support me.
I am in this world to offer you
you are in this world to bring me joy.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~
There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer;
no disease that enough love will not heal;
no door that enough love will not open;
no gulf that enough love will not bridge;
no wall that enough love will not throw down;
no sin that enough love will not redeem...
It makes no difference how deeply seated
may be the trouble;
how hopeless the outlook;
how muddled the tangle;
how great the mistake.
A sufficient realization of love will
dissolve it all.
If only you could love enough you would
the happiest and most powerful being in the world...
~ Emmet Fox ~
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.
~ Naomi Shihab Nye ~
We are a small group of compassionate people who work at a county hospital. Over the years, we have joined together to raise money for very special projects, to help individual patients who were motivated to change their lives for the better.
Never doubt that
a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
~ Margaret Mead ~
Some examples of small, but very life-changing projects that we have funded:
(1) Joe was a very kind, gentle, and sweet homeless man who had advanced cancer. He happily helped other patients on the ward, and had a smile that made everyone melt because you knew that his heart was golden. When he became weaker and expressed one day that his only wish was to see his daughter and grandson (both of whom he had never met) before he died, our staff joined to raise funds to purchase a plane ticket for daughter and grandbaby to fly from Oregon to San Francisco to meet him. They arrived and lovingly held his hand and stayed with him in his final days, as Joe took his last breath. Joe passed away peacefully, and his daughter told us that this surreal experience changed her life in a lasting way.
(2) Jose & Ana were a very sweet young man and his devoted mother, who became homeless in San Francisco, after the mother lost all 3 of her domestic labor jobs and he was beaten and robbed several times on his way home from work. They had no money, could not find enough work, and lived in a homeless shelter in San Francisco for the last year. As Jose was getting ready to be discharged from the hospital to go back to the shelter, we asked about his hopes and plans for the future. He and his mother said that they knew God would help them somehow, and that they would be alright. When encouraged to try to express any hope or plan, they said their real dream was to go back to live with family in Mexico one day, but they had no money for renewal of his passport or for airplane tickets.... When our staff heard of this, we collected the money they needed for the passport application and for the airplane tickets, and they are now thriving in their family home in Mexico. They work as chefs and flower arrangers, and are immensely grateful for the help they received.
(3) Steve had moved to San Francisco from another state, with intention to join the Salvation Army's Alcohol Rehab program, and to get started on a new life of sobriety and meaningful work. He was robbed three times, had no money, became homeless on the streets of San Francisco. On Valentine's day, he was beaten up so badly that he broke most of the bones in his body and nearly died. As he miraculously recovered, it was obvious that his kind spirit and gentle soul would not make it as a homeless person. With lots of discussion, he felt motivated to try moving to the Central Valley, to join a similar Alcohol Rehab and homeless program that would help him get back on his feet, to find housing and work. Our staff made phone calls and helped him to find the right place, and we raised the funds he needed for a train ticket and food and enough to help his basic needs to get started on a new life of hope.He is now housed, working, and thriving.
(4) Bob was a homeless man, whose sole purpose for living a clean and sober life was his dog Sweetums. She had been in an accident and hurt her foot, but he could not afford the veterinary fees. Our staff called the vet and got a reduced rate for Bob, and collected the money needed for her exam and treatment costs. Sweetums is fully healed and she is still actively inspiring her dad to live a good and loving life every day (just by being berself).