There have been a few times I’ve posted here in support of friends who needed help, and today is partly about that.
Jenn Hast, who is an artist, photographer, and will soon be an accountant (why yes, she is a polymath and Renaissance woman!) is dealing with cancer. The outlook is good, if the short-term is drastic, but there’s always the problem of money. In this case, funds so she can take time off from the day job, and rest, which is what she needs to be able to heal, without the stress hanging over her and slowing that process down. She’s part of this Odd little community I am, and a friend, but also, there’s this: we help each other out. That’s the foundation of charity, not a donation to a soulless organization which might (might! and only a fraction of it!) help out some faceless other at the end of the line. We support one another.
The support comes in many ways. It can be as little as a photo of a cute kitten you came across, and knowing it will make someone smile, you share it with them.
It might be sharing a post on a book for sale by an author you like. If you really want to boost them, go leave a review on that book (Amazon, Goodreads, social media, a blog… doesn’t matter). I realize these all seem like very small things. They are. It doesn’t have to be a big, grand gesture. You don’t have to literally give someone the shirt off your back. It’s enough to comfort them when they are down, to assist them when they are trying to better themselves, and to be ready when you can help, to offer it. Even if it’s not needed.
You see, someday you might also need help. The thing of it is, in the act of helping, you will find that it makes you feel good. About yourself, about humanity in general as you see others model what it looks like to aid their fellow man. It’s ok to ask for help, because it makes people happy to help others out. None of you are useless or worthless, which means that all of you need comfort sometimes, and it’s good to let someone show you how much they value you by helping you. Stop apologizing for everything, especially for the things you have no control over, and start understanding that the bonds of a community are forged not in the good times, but in the tough times when the fires of pain and doubt burn away the fluff and make believe, and reveal what is true and good in the hearts of men.
Life is sometimes dark and difficult, but there is always hope. Hope comes in many shapes, from kitten pictures, to a small amount of money, to a hug. Reach out. Take someone’s hand, and I think you’ll find both of you are stronger for that contact.