ok, third time's a charm...
i finally made progress with my goal to help address homelessness, although it kind of fell into my lap without much effort...
a social work colleague at work emailed a brochure of homeless shelters for baltimore to everyone in the department.
i simply printed it out and added additional resources and contact numbers and made copies.
i keep them in my purse which sits on my passenger seat.
when i hit a red light walked by an individual with a sign reading something so sad that my heart wants to break, or with a leg oozing diabetic sores, or a woman with a morose expression and hopeless eyes, i offer them the brochure.
most say they are already aware of the shelters in the city; they say that people steal their stuff, or they are all full.
sometimes i have additional information to offer of which they were not previously aware.
the conversations are brief.
and i don't know if they lead to anything significant for them.
but they always, without fail, express appreciation.
and i feel better, albeit only a bit, for having offered something.
i still need to find a way to help out in a more definitely effective manner.
my original kiva donation, gifted by my father last christmas, breeded another donation. this time i gave to a woman in burundi who sells bananas. kiva is a very solid organization that provides important information on the individuals in the program and the financial details related to the capital and loans. they keep you updated as to the progress of the individual's (or group's) business, and inform you when you have earned back enough money (through interest) so that you can donate again. giving cannot be made any easier.
still not riding the bike like i've intended. can't make any new excuses about that one. just gotta amp up and slow down.
new commitment for this year...
[well, other than refusing to support anything lady gaga-related because i thoroughly disagree with and am disgusted by the way american media and pop culture feed off people who have mass appeal due to their major issues... like these people (lady gaga, charlie sheen) are soulless toys we think we can whimsically ogle at with no tangible or energetic consequences...]
i guess i'll go for an oldie but goodie, and one i could stand to revive with intention; that is to say:
say something positive to people when asked how am i, what's new, how's the day going, how's work...
it's far too easy for me to share a sarcastic quip or complaint. even if they're justified, and even if they point to issues that should indeed be addressed (e.g. the supremely dysfunctional systemS that perpetuate baltimore's desperate state of oppression), i exude negativity which may not always be counter-balanced with something bright.
so, more positive comments, more brightness when you ask me the simple question, "how are you?" i had a storytelling professor in my funky spirituality school in california who said that we should always have a mirror handy so we know what we look like (the subtext being that we should always look our best, which of course should be lookin' good), and we should always have an interesting story, at least comment, with which to respond when someone asks us the age-old question, "how are you doing?" these positive and interesting quips, told through a smiling and bright expression, drop a pebble in the pond which emanates ripples of good stuff.
that is my new commitment.