Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 534: Greater than through love and support: Journey with the Cape Fear Heart Walk and Adam Freeman

I was dialing for dollars yesterday for an organization that I care a great deal for and  went to get a private email for someone from their facebook and on their profile was this:

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future"

It was a quote that I needed to read so badly. Not only was it the most appropriate thing I could read for the organization I was writing folks about to donate to (Wilmington interfaith hospitality network, as the agency works to provide housing and shelter to homeless families and work to bring about resources to help the families back to self sufficiency), but I needed it because I have been feeling scared...maybe that is not the word...sad? concerned? I am not sure what it is, but I know that what I have been feeling has been a sense of my overall optimism and belief in the goodness of folks being absorbed by so much around me.

As the news continues to get worse for the economy, I look to see those around me we do after a hurricane. Ya know what I mean? After a hurricane it is amazing to watch folks from every walk of life coming out to help each other: clearing debris, cooking food, providing for each other. It is like the crisis tears away the divide between us and creates opportunity to truly be about the business of our spiritual and being givers. We are transformed by the event and no one is unworthy of help or assistance. We are all "in this together".

Yet, our country is facing and has been for some time a crisis of financial issues, wars, and deep constructed cultural divideds and I have never seen such division and selfishness in my life. One cent on our tax rate could have saved scholarships for those in need of an education and yet that was too much. Our congress plays a cat and mouse game with our senior's social security and our neediest citizen's medicare and somehow that is a legitimate discussion? Mental health and other health issues take a beating while our elected officials have the best health care in the country. Early childhood development and women's health are slashed. While we have folks who still have two cars, a home, have so much who rage against parks, wellness, and the common good and go to church on Sunday and somehow make it fit.

It seems that the harder it gets the worse it is getting for people who are so afraid to share what they have ("that is socialism!!"..well, no it is not, it actually reflects what I understand more in line with my spiritual life)..or to give a little of what they have to help others is somehow enabling folks who are "taking advantage" or who just "need a job".  And if the Government is the issue of where they are concerned about giving to...why aren't charities seeing great increases in giving? It is gut wrenching to watch, particularly being involved in groups that are working with those who are struggling.

Where is that spirit of "we are all in this together?" Instead we circulate emails that regale tales of abusers of food stamps, go viral on folks who use government assistance inappropriately...and there is such a sense of superiority in the comments that are attached from the senders or on facebook etc. (because none of us EVER cheat or take advantage and THEY are the real problem. THEY are the rule...etc etc etc)

I have been a commissioner for the housing authority for 5 years. I have been involved for a long time in groups who aid folks that are of the greatest need. I have seen the worst and the best of those in "the system", and I know it is far from perfect. Abuse of the privilege of assistance is revolting. But what is more revolting is a system that is set up that does not encourage success or change. A system that defunds opportunity, that at one time gave a "way out" for those who were able, but no longer does and ironically has no limits on the length of time to receive assistance. And yet what do we do? What do our elected officials do?  What are we doing to make a difference? What are we doing to add to the discussion to create change?

What I am seeing for the most part is this "all or nothing" discussion.  No reform of the issues at hand, just cut it off..eliminate...slash and burn...and so the truly deserving, the truly in need, those who are of greatest concern go without and those who abuse the system...well, they have won the day...and those who "have".....well, they get to keep what they "have" and get to feel superior as well.

I am hear to tell you, having had the experience that I have had, that there is REAL NEED. I have witnessed what can happen and I am witnessing it everyday when WE take the time to INVEST in each other and to CARE about each other and reinforce SUCCESS. WIHN, Habitat, UNCW/WHA Campus, YouthBuild, CFCC Foundation are just a few of the mechanisms that are at play that I have seen change lives and help folks move from assistance to self sufficiency. But these groups struggle for lack of funds and funding and support. It is inconceivable sometimes.

That is where that scripture came so powerfully at me: "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future"

I know that THE work happens through US...In those programs and agencies I just named, I have seen it...but it is fragile and not the DAY. It is not the common. the Common Good. THE Work  is not worked by some magical hand coming down to earth and clicking a finger or blinking an eye and making it requires US. For NO HARM, rather HOPE, and A FUTURE to happen, it requires US.

What has bothered me lately is to see folks who harm either overtly or by denial of the problem. Those who see what is and choose to look the other way or see what is and act in accordance with what will only serve their own selfish ends. They limit hope for so many and create a future for ALL of us that is divided and engulfed without that spirit of giving..without that spirit of "all for one"...without a sense of who we CAN be. 

I believe with every fiber of me that there is perfection in a plan that is handed to us to "prosper" each one of us...but it requires each one of us. It requires that WE do something. That We care about each other. That WE give. That WE understand. For me, from here on out...I will be asking "what have I done today to proper hope and the future.

 Links to the Keys to my Health and Wellness Success!
Adam Freeman Personal Training | Adam Freeman Training On line | Crest Fitness | Custom Fit Meals| Heidi Kaufman Nutritional Services-Dietitian | Bike Cycles Bike Shop at Mayfaire| Boseman's Sporting Goods | New Balance Shoes | Tidal Creek- Healthy Foods! | Pita Delite- Wilmington | Hibachi Bistro on College Road | The Star News | WECT | Wilmington Biz and Wilma | Encore Magazine | New Hanover County Public Health Department | Zoe's Kitchen | Try Sports| VitaCost online NC Company for sports Nutrition | City of Wilmington Parks and Recreation| New Hanover County Parks| Airlie Gardens | The Shell Cross City Trail | Wrightsville Family Practice | Sandra Miles Dentistry | Church of the Servant Episcopal |Down to Earth Essential Oils

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