Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Stand With Love
We are a nation of binary opposites: on one hand, there is Donald Trump and his blatant and inexcusable misogyny and racism, spewing forth about Muslims and perfectly legitimate bodily functions as he tries literally to bully and insult his way to the White House.
Trump represents the worst of America’s rugged individualism ethos: that we can somehow return to a mythologized greatness by being ugly and vindictive.
On the other hand, kindness and compassion abound throughout our amazing and challenging country. There is the Compassion Collective, started by a group of well-known writers to raise money for the Syrian refugee crisis (http://thecompassioncollective.org/http://thecompassioncollective.org/). The Collective wants to raise $1 million to support the refugees during this tragic crisis. The maximum donation is $25.
Another philanthropic and heart-warming effort was started six years ago by my friend Bob Welch (www.bobwelch.net) when he was a columnist for the Eugene Register-Guard. Inspired by an anonymous $1000 from a reader to help those in need during the holiday season, Bob and friends seek out worthy recipients in the Eugene, Oregon area in order to not only spread some holiday cheer, but to make a bit of a difference in the lives of those struggling with bills and mental illness and homelessness and other issues.
Bob retired from being a full-time columnist, but he is still actively involved in his community, and today he posted about his latest mission of mercy (http://bobwelch.net/the-1000-christmas-giveaway/).
The Compassion Collective and Bob Welch (and friends) represents the best of humanity, people willing to stand up and say, “I need to make a difference and help,” or, in the words of the Collective, to “stand with love.”
We live in scary times, and it’s easy to lash out against enemies both real and imagine, and also find scapegoats to soothe our anxieties. But by doing so we also abdicate our basic connection to others, to everyone we meet or can assist. The choice is clear, and we can easily opt to stand with love.