Challenges have the potential to bring out the best and the worst in us. When we are stressed we can be quick to snap at our colleagues or loved ones. We can be short tempered and even inconsiderate, but... when the worst things happen, we often see the best of humanity stepping forth. People, I believe, for the most part are kind and caring. In Southern Alberta, almost two years ago now, we saw rivers swell to unimagined levels. Keepsakes submerged, belongings lost, years of hard work ruined, entire homes swept away, and hardest of all, lives lost.
One of the most memorable, heart warming, inspiring parts of it all for me was how individuals stepped up to share the burden. Families shared their homes. Young and old volunteered in countless ways: to feed those working to begin the long and tedious job of cleaning up, to offer their trucks and trailers, to offer their strong backs and shovels, to offer their clean water and clothes and furniture and ... their hearts. Offering love and concern and caring and compassion. Offering how much or how little they were able to spare. Countless stories of people "just showing up" to say "How can I help?"
The best of humanity somehow lives in those places that are darkest. When it feels like a deep dark hole has swollowed us whole, along comes a glimmer of hope.
Today I can remember how strangers stepped up, and continue to do so in the face of disasters around the world. I am inspired to continue to hold up that lantern in the darkness, I want to remember to offer a helping hand to a neighbor or a stranger not only in the face of devastation but whenever the need is big or small. I want to nurture the spirit of just showing up and asking "How can I help?"