A Richer World
To leave the world richer–that is the ultimate success. Eleanor Roosevelt
I have always felt it’s my goal to do my best to make this world a better place. It is why, many years ago, I became a foster mom. It’s why I adopted a greyhound and other shelter animals. It’s why my friends gave me the nickname Crazy Cat Lady. Every time I found a stray cat in need I took it home. It’s why I became a teacher and it’s why being present and available for my kids has always been a priority.
During my last visit with my daughter, Arielle, she told me about something that happened to her while at college. She was actually joking about being embarrassed but her story made me feel instant joy. I almost started crying because of her bravery and compassion. Here’s what happened…
Arielle had gone into a bagel shop to get breakfast after her morning practice. A homeless man came in. Arielle described him as having an intellectual disability. He asked Arielle to buy him a sandwich. She said she would. Then a police officer came in the store to remove the homeless man. He pointed to Arielle and loudly announced that she was buying him breakfast. The police officer asked if this was true and Arielle told him it was. I am so proud of my daughter! Arielle was embarrassed yet made the choice to help another despite feeling judged by others. She’s had to endure people staring at her because of the wheelchair since she was ten. The last thing she wanted was to draw attention to herself. However, she saw someone who needed help and was not afraid to do what’s right. When she told me the story she had no idea the amount of joy I felt in that moment because it takes a tremendous amount of courage to stand out from the crowd, recognize a need, and reach out. That’s when I knew she was strong enough to make her own decisions regardless of what others may say or think. It was a very proud mom moment for me.
Now, as an author I remind myself that my books must also stand for what I believe–making a difference in some way. It’s not about racing to get as many titles as I can out every year in hopes that I will earn more money. It’s about the books themselves and what they mean to their readers. I’m currently reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult and it’s beautiful, heartbreaking, and thought provoking. I keep thinking of all the research she did for her book and how difficult it must have been. Difficult but now I see–necessary. I’m going to ask my children to read it because as Ms. Picoult brought to my attention the only knowledge I have about the Holocaust is what others chose to tell me in school books. Not enough.
Just as teachers teach to make a difference in the lives of their students I must write to make a difference in the lives of my readers. Please know that’s always my goal. Thank you for reading!
Photo Credit: The featured image is from the Nevada Health Centers