Monday, April 9, 2012

Where The Lions Are!

So when I was in my mid teens I remember taking a vacation with my mom and my sister to go visit my Uncle and his wife in the Turks & Caicos islands. That first evening there news had come in that one of my Uncle's business partners, a friend, and a well known, friendly guy around the island, had been in a car accident. He wasn't killed but was seriously injured and hospitalized. His family were a wreck, scared not only for the man himself, but for the fact that his injury would most likely become a long term, if not life sustaining, disability that would seriously create problems or even end his career. There would be physical ailments to be dealt with, a heap of financial difficulties would be presented, and ultimately a downward lifestyle change would take place.
What I was amazed at was the large number of people that came together and lent a hand during and after this crisis. It was only a vacation that I was on so eventually my family and I left the island, but through my Uncle we got updates about all the love and support given to this person and his family.
22,500 people live on Providencialis today. (the island of the group that we were on) I'm sure it wasn't quite as high almost 20 plus years ago, and I know it wasn't every single person on the island, but it was pretty awe inspiring to see people come together like that.

Here we are in the year 2012 and I listen to the news and read all these stories about crime, illness, poverty, and how people are alone. I understand that we shouldn't always believe what we hear or read in the media, but I've seen with my own eyes how cruel people can be to one another; friends, even family, that can turn and walk away over misunderstanding or fear because of egos or possibly illness. Just walk around the streets of Toronto and lay witness to all of the homeless or drug/alcohol addicted people..... a lot of which comes from being alone. Just thinking about this stuff can be very depressing and make one to give up or not want to care anymore! Life can be, and is in a lot of ways, very lonely and sad. It is a fact that we can't avoid and even if some or all of these things have not plagued our lives, we cannot ignore those that it has.

But there is hope, and more than I think we realize. I could say there is a balance between good and bad, but I don't think there is. I think (or at least I like to believe) that the scales are tipped in our favor. I believe the biggest disadvantage we often face, you, me, all of us, is that we give too much focus to the negative. I'm not saying life doesn't truly suck at times. Car accidents or being diagnosed with Cancer aren't made up. But saying things like: "I'm alone", "I can't do this", "My life is over" aren't just words, they're unhealthy words.
It is unfortunate that we cannot prevent a lot of the bad things that happen in the world, from earthquakes, floods and tornadoes all the way down to personal traumas such as the brain injury that my mother sustained or the car accident that affected the guy in Turks & Caicos. Things happen, mistakes, accidents, illness or disease; it's life. But it is what happens afterwards that counts and tips the scales.

People (lions) band together and stretch out hands. We work in tandem and overcome life's challenges and disasters. I believe there are more open arms and kind hearts out there than get acknowledged. I think about that Turks & Caicos story I told above, I start to think of some others like it, (I'm sure if you think about it you know some stories like that too) and my saying I believe it, changes to I know it. The words become "We are not alone", "We can do this", "We can build a good life". Because We are together in this. We tend to be fighting the same, or similar, battles. The Lions are out there, in more places than not. We just need to look for and accept them.

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