I find it interesting, how we collectively and individually provide help and donations.
We feel better.
We do good.
That can never be enough. That can only be a place to start.
If you have five friends.
Or ten, adding one or losing one isn’t such a big deal.
If you had none?
What if the only thing you wanted, all you really needed, was one friend?
Would a bags of groceries, toys or cash solve that?
Do we build relationships with people because we have something we want to gain or accomplish?
Do we establish and maintain them as part of some perceived unwritten give/get equation?
Do we build relationships with people we like because we like them?
Do we seek out people we respect and admire, focus our attention on respecting and admiring them?
Do we seek out people in need? Why? Their need is huge. They cannot give anything back.
Do we see anything but their need?
We see lots of that – driven home by fundraising campaigns. We give cash, food, clothing to ameliorate those needs. We help. A little. Sometimes a lot. Many people help, lots. Then we put those needs, those people, those causes on ignore all year, don’t we?
Do we see their need to be liked?
Do we see their need for respect?
Do we see their need be admired?
I’m not talking about a hand-up vs. a hand-out. I’m talking about making our own lives, for each of us, a little fuller because we brought someone it, because we reached out to someone who is alone, someone who is frightened, someone who doesn’t feel good and made a difference in their lives that lasted more than a day, something that had more traction and lasting effect than a bag of groceries.
That, my friends, is where we can focus some attention.
Don’t make 1,000 new friends.
Then make another. We are a city of over 1.1 million people. Imagine, if all of us who have some friends in our lives added just one.
One child would have a new friend.
One homeless person would have a new friend.
One person with a developmental disability would have a new friend.
One person without a friend, would have one.
column written/ published from Calgary, AB
morning walk: 5C/42F, full moon, mostly overcast, mushy snow and bare dry sidewalks – an early early early constitutional. Gusta wanted to get going and I wanted to get going back. I won.
Congratulations on your anniversary. Twenty-eight years is a huge accomplishment, CJ, Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Mark, that's terrific good for you for quitting. Could it be divine intervention. May God continue to bless you and to help scores of others who have not yet found sobriety, MJ, Calgary, AB
Congrats on this major milestone – you did it your way and I think it is a great (and life changing) accomplishment. Also, thanks for the video clip – all the best to you as well! Rgds, MK, Calgary, AB
Nice touch, mark. Laughed when you anticipated my first reaction of, “Mark gained some girth on the island”. Best wishes in the new year, Mark. Let’s make a deal, RH, Calgary, AB
Thanks Mark, have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season and all the best in the New Year! Kind regards, JE, Calgary, AB
Mark, liked the video and just wanted to take the time to wish you and yours A very Merry Christmas and an awesome New Year. I am in Calgary this week for the BOMA luncheon, hope to see you there, PM, Ladysmith, BC
Cute - Good on ya. You are part of the new age communication! If I don't see you have a happy Christmas and a merry New Year!!, SC, Calgary, AB
Nice message Mark. Hope all is well with you. Merry Christmas to you and your family, NA, Calgary, AB
Loved your video salutations Mark – all the BEST for 2015!!! Kind Regards, GM, Calgary, AB
Hello Mark, thank you for the wonderful video message. Happy holidays to you and yours….remember, less is more!, MK, Calgary, AB
Hi Mark. I enjoyed your Holiday message Will I see you Thursday for the MVP potluck? Thanks, SM, Calgary, AB
Happy Holidays as well Mark! Thanks for your business. Watched your video. Did you tie your arms at your sides? Strange not having hand gestures! See you at MVP this Thursday for the party, RD, Calgary, AB
Nice message Mark. Thank you my friend. All the best to you and yours, GS, Edmonton, AB
Thanks for the sentiments Mark. Hope you have a great Christmas with your family and friends and a healthy and prosperous New Year. Regards, DH, Calgary, AB
Thanks Mark. Season's greetings and best in the New Year, JM, Calgary, AB
All the best Health and happiness Mark! Regards, AZ, Calgary, AB
And a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well, RT, Vancouver, BC
Happy Holidays to you, as well, Mark, GB, Calgary, AB
Mark, Nice message, good way to kick off the holiday season. All the best to you in the New Year, JM, New York, NY