Yesterday many of us expressed our gratitude – some with family, some with friends, and others, on their own and in their own way.
Are you still digesting your meal, and the midnight snack that you couldn’t resist before bed?
Are you running to the stores in pursuit of sales, hoping to purchase your holiday gifts?
Are you back to the usual routine, whatever that may be, or enjoying a visit with family through the weekend?
And what’s next?
But first, a little gratitude of my own – to you.
To those who continue to stop by and read, and take part in the conversation, I thank you. To those who have been continuing to read and share Ashley’s story, appreciation goes out to all corners – because all corners are being heard from. You’re wonderful! Please do keep it up. To those who read the article on the Butterfly Effect at Huff Post and who commented or shared it, I am most grateful.
Thank You, and Stay Safe!
I would like to offer a rather unexpected bit of appreciation. It’s not unusual to be solicited for posting links or product mentions. I always decline – hopefully politely. But this Thanksgiving I received a request to post a link from a high-end UK appliance retailer, with the proposal of a gift certificate for doing so.
Typically, that’s an automatic refusal on my part. I don’t review products. I don’t exchange links. I write about subjects that I find of interest, entertaining, or important. But that said, I was surprised – and delighted – when the originator of the request accepted my “counter offer” to donate that amount instead to Ashley’s COTA account.
She did so immediately, following up with documentation through email, and I saw the amount reflected in Ashley’s ticker.
That – it seemed to me – was an act of faith on her part, and the sign of a good corporate citizen. I might add that I did check out the site, which serves as an important reminder, especially at this time of year. When you’re shopping online – caveat emptor, remember?
I’ve mentioned internet safety for your online shopping, but summing up:
- If those discounts are too good to be true, they probably are.
- Be sure to Google for complaints and reviews on the company you’re considering dealing with.
- Make sure you see VeriSign secured or other transaction security on the site.
- Look for explicit details on shipping costs and policy, as well as returns.
- Make sure your kids use good e-commerce safety rules, too!
As for the UK Appliance site in question, they seem to be an excellent example of what you should see when shopping online, in order to feel confident about the organization you’re doing business with.
Thank You, and More Please!
Thank you is in order to many more – those who have given generously to Ashley’s COTA account, those who have passed along her story like Une Femme and Mutant Supermodel, and those sharing their stories through Kristen’s Five Year Plan. or in other ways, like Bruce at Privilege of Parenting.
Do stop by Kelly’s place (scroll down about half a page), and see the list. Visit their sites and posts – they’re absolutely beautiful, and I hope there will be more to come.
And this brings me to my next point.
What comes after gratitude?
Certainly, there are those who spend their holidays alone. I’ve been in that situation and it’s not a great deal of fun. We are a large country in a larger world with far too many people who are alone or isolated even in cities of millions.
Can we begin to reach out to each other in small ways, for the better? Isn’t this the best possible interpretation of the Butterfly Effect – igniting a chain reaction of positive acts – much like sharing Ashley’s story?
My point is a simple one. Thinking good thoughts, wanting a better world – it matters. But if we stop there, nothing is accomplished.
I will quote from someone who commented yesterday at the Huffington Post. She calls herself NokomisMichelle, and she writes:
Something that you said struck me as the corner stone of our current problem “we’re all so busy and overwhelmed with “getting by” … it’s a mind set that I have and most people [have] today – autonomy gone wrong; individualism twisted into self-centeredness… I’ve noticed the same from myself. Always thinking of what I have to do, what I have to get done, instead of turning to my neighbor and realizing, it’s not just me here… I’m not going through this alone, I’ve just been isolating myself thinking I’m obligated to get through this on my own.
Hard times are the best times to get back to our community frame of mind.
I couldn’t have said it better.
Perhaps beyond reflections, admissions, our admonitions – it boils down to action. To remembering we aren’t alone, we needn’t be alone, and participating in communities does not necessitate sacrificing our individuality or our own needs. It does require perspective: exchanging indifference for caring, and rhetoric for action.
*September 2013. Please note two items. First, Ashley had her transplant in February 2012 and is doing well! Secondly, the UK appliance link has been removed, at the request of the company. (We thank them for their contribution all the same.)
© D. A. Wolf