As we enter into this day, a day prior to be being thankful, we should take inventory of what we have, what we don't need and who we might be able to help with all of the above.
Tomorrow, a majority of us will wake up with the day off and our focus will turn to the travel plans we have or the people that will descend on our homes. Home, after all, is what it's about. That place to feel safe, warm and fed. Home is a place that only the folks you like come to, the people that you love (including your drunk Uncle Oscar — yes he's a pain and yes he's loud but he's yours. And if you're that drunk Uncle Oscar, give your family a break would ya?).
With everything that's going on in the world right now it's so important that we spread as much good cheer as humanly possible — don't you think? I'm talking straight across the boards — no road raging because you feel like someone should be moving faster, cussing at a store clerk because they can't get you the answer you want, or getting annoyed because someone named Uncle Oscar is talking loudly on his cell phone. Take some time to appreciate that not everybody operates in your world and you don't operate in theirs.
Basic needs met with dignity; think about that and what that means. If you are a fan of social media you probably see the videos that scroll by. They're called social experiments and they often target the homeless, people who are down and out. The outcomes are usually real tearjerkers. A majority of these people only require dignity, but if you have nothing, then dignity might be gone. So when you see someone who is hungry, what do you do? I'm not suggesting that you give them money, but is buying them a $5 sandwich asking a lot? Not in my estimation. But if you can't afford that, can you afford a few kind words? Last I checked those didn't cost anything. Kindness is a basic need and it helps to restore dignity.
I was watching one video where the camera crew places a "homeless child" on the street next to an actual homeless man. The idea of the experiment was to see who would get more attention, a homeless man or a homeless child. The answer is obvious, but during the course of the experiment what happened to the homeless man was nothing short of disgusting, right up to the point that some idiot threw his food on him as if he were dumping it in the garbage. Why? What's the point? Why would you treat anyone like that? What could you possibly get out of it? The homeless man's response was to stand up, dust himself off and walk down the street, only to return five minutes later with a slice of pizza for the child he thought was homeless. Here's a guy that has nothing, buying for a kid he feels has it worse and right after someone treated him like garbage. Even that guy could meet someone's basic needs and serve it up with a wheel barrow full of dignity. There's your lesson; that's what you pull from if you begin to get annoyed ... you remember what happened to that guy (a U.S. veteran by the way) and you pay it forward (even if it's doing a favor for your Uncle Oscar).
So today is a day that you can test it — my radio station has been doing a food drive for the local food shelf dating back to before there was a Project Feed the Thousands. It started at the Grand Union on Putney Road, before finding its eventual home at Price Chopper on Canal Street in Brattleboro. We will be there from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. taking your food and cash donations for the Groundworks Collaborative Food Shelf and Project Feed. So please take a moment out of your day to swing by and make a donation (cash or food) and we promise to leave Uncle Oscar at home. What the hell is up with that?