Friday, December 7, 2007

People never cease to amaze me

For those of you who know me well, you can at once recognize the dichotomous nature of the title of this entry. Indeed, the word "amaze" is ambiguous here... is it a positive term or a negative one? I have been ruminating over this question since early this morning, where I had an experience that would definitely fall under the "negative" category, which I will not elaborate upon because I am trying to be more positive about my working conditions these days. Instead, I have chosen to use this experience (and the culmination of other similar situations) and infuse it into a larger discussion about how, truly, the actions of other astound me on a daily basis.

It is intriguing to me how mankind in general can be so good and so bad at the same time. The time in which we live is the embodiment of the "it was the best of times and it was the worst of times" idea. When Dickens coined that line, I think he realized that throughout the ages, man would continue to get better and continue to get worse as he gained intelligence and exceeded his forefathers. I don't think anyone back then could've conceived of a time like this, where so much of the world is ravaged by unrest in so many forms. Hmm... I'm digressing just a bit. I want to discuss this topic on a more individualized basis.

Since I am so apt to focus on the blatantly obvious and negative scenarios that could illustrate this point, that is precisely what I'm NOT going to do. So no discussions of the boss that tries to break you or the guy on the freeway that speeds up when you're trying to get into his lane. No, I am going to talk about the people who I have observed that prove that this world can be and is the best place to be; that we can be intrinsically good instead of intrinsically bad.

Well it's going to be totally redundant if I discuss my incredible husband for the millionth time, but he truly fits into this category. It's often the small, simple things that matter the most: having dinner ready when I get home from a long day at work, starting my car in the morning so it's all warm when I leave, doing the laundry, making my lunch... it's all of those things that amaze me. That someone is that aware of my needs. That someone loves me and appreciates me enough to think of the small stuff. Incredible.

That kind of service reminds me of my parents and extended family too, for that was where I learned that the world is what you make it... so why not make it a better place to be? My parents amaze me because they never cease to serve others and not themselves. Because my dad is willing to wake up at five so I can get a deal on a Christmas tree... or because my mom always is the first one to take somebody a meal when they need it. Like I said before, it's those small and seemingly simplistic actions that can provide the difference and form someone into a better person.

At the rate I am going, I could go on for quite sometime, but the last person I would like to discuss is actually a few people. They are the people I worked with in Africa. I actually received a couple of really sobering emails from James, the president of Reach the Children Uganda. They discussed a family whose matriarch was severely burned in a freak accident, and a trio of mothers ravaged and dying of Aids. I don't bring this up to sensationalize or to commercialize such suffering; rather, I wish to tell you all of the great work that is done to help these families. When I was down in Uganda, I was overwhelmed at the love that James and his coworkers and volunteers had for their fellowman. We visited the poorest of the poor, the sickest of the sick, and we helped them. James helps them on a daily basis. And he doesn't just throw money in their faces, he rolls up his sleeves and works along with them, so they can sustain themselves. He, and the amazing people that are affiliated with him, love and serve their people with no hesitation. And that truly amazes me.

So how's that for looking on the bright side peeps? We may unearth an optimist after all. Enjoy a couple pics from Uganda and one of my faves of Greg and me.


Josh & Kenna said...

Snaps for Lauren.

'snap' 'snap' 'snappity-snap'

Ash said...

Put this up on Helium

Paco Belle said...


Your vocabulary always amazes me. I love workin' with ya at the old TSG! Yay! Happy Holidays to you both.