Think about it, have you been an impact player this year? Made a difference in someone’s life, reached out and touched someone, inspired or lead by example? This isn’t about sports, politics or profit; I’m talking real world stuff.
Me? I have concluded after several decades I just like helping people, simple as that; offering personal calm amidst crisis, humor in the face of crushing adversity and hope when all seems lost. It doesn’t pay well, but the rewards can be great and it’s good for the soul. This is not puffing up and posturing, it’s just what makes me feel good, down deep.
Why share this? It’s personal. In supporting my wife while she served 23 months in Federal custody I did not quit on our new marriage and by extension did not give up on myself. You see Patty is good for me and helping her helped me. Sounds cheesy I know, but it is true. It was a fight or flight moment when her situation broke loose. I chose the former and feel no shame; been there and endured that.
There are a lot of inmates in the United States and unfortunately we lead the world. Many children and spouses are collateral damage, trying to survive and maybe thrive with a shattered family nucleus. These folks don’t have a bumper sticker stating my Mom is in the slammer or Daddy is doing life. They are just doing life without Mom or Dad, day in day out. Their house may look rough, school grades are slumping, attitude is in the air, this obviously isn’t “Leave it to Beaver” folks; this is survival.
So, turn your head away or listen to your heart, your choice. Go to Pilates, focus on fantasy football, take another selfie, perhaps reflect on what you really see or maybe pray about it. If you were in that survival scenario, trying to grasp a small slice of the American dream, what would you want someone to do for you?
I propose you call an audible, quietly reach out and help an inmate or their family. It has to be genuine not a pity gesture, skin in the game stuff. Guess what? It feels good in your soul, you become an impact player and there’s no risk of concussion. Patty and I are grateful to those who reached out and helped us, humble heroes in every sense of the word; we have been there.
Our year has been one of challenge, rejection, several humble victories and a lot of hard work. We are grateful for what we have. To those serving time behind the wire and their families also doing time, facing another year, know that there are people on the outside who care. There is hope, there are those called to reach out and help. Hopefully they will have an impact on your future, sooner the better.
Happy New Year from our home to yours.