Tuesday, March 26, 2013


The more I have been involved with non profits and their members and people in general for decades, the more I notice that there are most assuredly those who wish to be in the limelight with questionable motives, and then there are those who are diligently working in the shadows. Today I write about Angels in the Shadows.

Personalities shouldn't interfere with doing the right thing.  Trying to outdo the other person or another 'like' organization shouldn't become a part of your agenda, your master plan, your goal. What happened to caring?  Really caring about the other guy! Why so much competition?  So much anger?

Then there are the people we meet daily.  You know, the ones on the street.  The dry cleaners, the checker at the grocery store, the waitress.  We ask 'How are you?" But do we really care?  Do they respond with a simple 'fine'? Do we ever really want to know?  Do we want to listen, to hear, to care?

 "How are you today?" What if we said "oh not so good"?  Then we hear a simple 'sorry'. Did that person really care, or do we just ask or respond benignly because it is the thing to do? Are they just too busy or important to really honestly care how we are?

What if after they say 'fine', we say 'no ... really...how are you?" Then listen!
Perhaps then you might hear personal stories of people struggling, in crisis, in a medical situation they can't control, in turmoil at home, their pressures and troubles, and on and on. 
Perhaps then we would not feel so isolated.  I know I do.  I want to be heard as much as the next guy.  I want to feel 'real'!!! I think deep down inside we all want to be real.  But how many give us that opportunity?
Today try engaging, truly engaging someone. See what happens. Your connection to those in your daily life will deepen and perhaps, just perhaps, others will see you in a different light.

So you ask what is an angel in the shadows.
To me this is a person who does the right thing for the right reasons.  A person who works, not to be glorified or glamorized or to get another accolade or certificate, but someone who does what they do because they so deeply and passionately believe in, and care about, what they are doing that they don't know any other way to be.  A person who wants to make a difference because a difference needs to be made.

As I write this my housekeeper is cleaning my office.  Just moments ago, I stopped typing and turned around and asked her how she was.  Our eyes locked. She really knew I cared.  She started telling me about her daughter who has panic attacks and is terrified of being in public. She wants to be a nurse but is having trouble focusing. She is seeing a psychiatrist and psychologist and that is why her mom is cleaning houses ~ to pay for her doctor bills. We talked.  I cared. And I learned.  I know her and she knows now, that at least to me, she is 'real'. 

So today try and become an angel in the shadows.  Really care about the people you meet, the waiter, the next door neighbor, the postman.  Engage them for a moment and you will find that they are not much different than you.  We all face battles, and we all have people in our lives that need to feel someone really does care.  Someone really knows that they are 'real.'

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