Yesterday I was deeply touched by the acts of kindness I experienced when a diverse group of people came together to raise money for a man who is undergoing treatment for cancer. Now, unable to work and with bills mounting, his good friend decided to put this event together. Come to find out this was the fourth such event that friend has staged to help buddies who had fallen on hard times because of an accident or illness. An old-fashioned small town gathering with a focused cause. It showed me the humanity around us and that people do care and will do good things for one another; a hope for the future of mankind.
Reminds me of a good friend I had years ago who always had a heart for people. She was kind and generous and gave people a helping hand when they were in times of need. When encountering someone who physically had an impairment or disability, my good friend would say to me, “there but for the grace of god go I”.
I didn’t take photos yesterday, I was too busy taking in the experience. Watching the men unload their trucks—coolers filled with beer and soda, bowls of potato salad and cole slaw, trays of barbecued pork, and items to be auctioned—and greeting each other with a hearty handshake and bear hug. Watching the young women in the kitchen preparing to serve plates of food, setting up the auction items, organizing the room. Listening to stories about family situations. Watching the children get involved by selling raffle tickets and taking in the money. Having a conversation with the one who is undergoing treatment and his plans for traveling to places he’s not seen after he gets better; this “guest of honor” even contributed to the auction table with beautiful photos he had taken of nature and printed on canvas. People pitched in where needed and it all came together.
I’m not using names here because they are not important. What is important is that all came together for a common cause—to help another human being. Generosity, kindness, respect, and love is what I experienced yesterday. Now it is up to me to remember this day and pay it forward.
Note: It’s only in the past few years that I’ve turned my camera toward capturing the faces of people. The photos shown above are ones I’ve taken while traveling.