April 26, 2007

How Many Lives Have You Saved Today?

A friend sent me a great note today in response to my post on the Virginia Tech shootings.

"I would hope," Vilasini writes, "that if I could save others I would act on it.... Saving [lives] can be sending money to the poor, eating vegetables, giving loans to the poor, teaching others and the list could go on and on. We do count, and we all have been life-changers whether we are aware of it or not. I support your work and your role in saving lives."

The last line of this note surprised me. How does someone like me save lives? I've always seen myself as fear-based. The last time I stood up to an angry mob to defend someone, I was in the seventh grade, 37 years ago. The angry mob (four or five 12-year-old girls) followed me home from school that day and a couple of them threw me to the ground, punched and slapped me around and, if I remember correctly, bloodied my nose and bruised my ego. So I've never done anything like that again, much less taken a bullet for anyone.

I don't deny that my actions have, on occasion, helped others. I acknowledge that words I have written and other expressions of caring have made a difference to people who were confused or in trouble; they've told me so. I also make a practice of donating my time and my resources to worthy organizations, as well as to individual people in need. Have I saved lives by sponsoring a child in Colombia for a year, by serving dinner to homeless families, by sitting with a man and asking him questions about the beliefs that nearly drove him to suicide, by giving away 10% of my very small income? It is possible.

Does facilitating The Work save lives? What I can tell you is that it has saved mine. Being facilitated by Katie years ago woke me up to a way to save my own life, and every day above ground is informed by and dedicated in gratitude to that work. Every time I give the inquiry to a client, I get facilitated as well; your work is my work. I have signed up for the hotline on days that I thought I wanted to die, whether of a bad cold or a broken heart; so many of you have healed me as you've healed yourselves.

How many lives have you saved today? Find at least three ways in which you can experience yourself as a hero, and please let me know.

©2007 by Carol L. Skolnick. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

Marianne said...

Hi Carol,

I have a bit of resistance to this because I don't want to be known as a hero...but I can find a couple of ways that I am a hero. I have saved 3 cats from the streets; I saved Logan upset and angst by delivering homework to him at school when he forgot to take the *big project* on the bus with him; I contribute money and time to help support our local summer program that works with at risk youth in the community. For eight weeks in the summer, our program (Community Mercantile Education Foundation) provides fresh, organic, balanced and locally produced seasonal lunches four days a week for teens. The group also takes fun field trips, learns about nutrition, and works together in a community garden. Guess who gets to weed and water the garden every day?