How My Heart Behaves

I truly believe that certain events happen and certain people walk in or out of our lives for specific reasons. We don't always know what they are, but it happens. Sometimes it is subtle sometimes more profound.

I am a firm believer in this.

For example, this morning I got up and made my way straight to the computer (which I usually don't do), I went straight to my blog, and clicked on Oh, The Joys link in my sidebar. There was virtually no thought in it. It was as if I was on autopilot. It was just something I felt like I had to do before I did anything else.
I read her post and thought to myself Thank god I did this. I am so glad I didn't wait any longer.
Granted that her world would not collapse in on itself because she hadn't heard from me yet.
I felt that it was so important for me to acknowledge what is going on over her way right now.

We were in Baltimore this past weekend and not long after we had arrived and began walking our way to the venue, I saw a woman on the opposite side of the street who appeared like she needed some assistance. She was well-dressed, carrying a big purse. And she was standing in the middle of the sidewalk, slouched forward. I couldn't take my eyes off of her. She would stumble and sway. I kept waiting for her to just fall right over. People would walk by her and look with puzzled expressions and move on their way.
Included in those people were me, Rav, and the two other people we were with.

I spotted a security guard and was going to alert her to the condition of this woman.
But something else took hold of me and I did not do it.
All night and all of the next day, I would see the woman pop up in my mind's eye and I felt this terrible brick in my stomach for not doing something.

Those of you who have been reading for some time know that I was helping people that I was running into for quite awhile. And my safety may have been jeopardized at one point or another.
And I struggled with how I could do what needed to be done & not be stupid or unsafe.
This problem was compounded even more by the fact that I felt it was happening for a reason.
I felt that I was crossing paths with these individuals for a very specific purpose.

And the thing that I have realized is this:

It feels way worse for me to not do anything and be "safe".
It's this nasty, hard, thick brick in my stomach.

The whole diffusion of responsibility mentality that just doesn't sit well with me.

I think it way worse to not act. To shrug my shoulders and turn my head, close my eyes and
a)hope that the next person who comes along will help.
b)be completely cold, empty-hearted, and oblivious.

It's not my style and it just plain old does not feel good.
It feels inherently wrong.

It is a moral issue with me.

I know that I can't cure poverty or eradicate the use of highly addictive drugs.
I know that I cannot cure every ailing soul.
For every one person I help, there is an infinite line of people behind them.
I know that my bagged lunches, my $1 here and there do not solve the world's problems.
I know this. I do.
And I know that it is important for the people who care for me know that I am safe.

However, I know that it is not in me to continue to turn a blind eye.
I simply cannot do it. It doesn't feel right.

And that is just how my heart behaves.

10 ripples in the pond:

jen said...

amen, honey. sing it.

and yes, all of our thoughts are with jess.

flutter said...

I love the way your heart behaves.

liv said...

yes, my darling feist. :) very eloquently said.

Joker The Lurcher said...

i'm the same. i put it down to having to be a rescuer when i was a kid. the main thing is to do it safely. once the people around you know you are safe they can help with the rescuing. and of course some people don't really want to be rescued...

keep true to yourself!

Her Grace said...

Your $1 may not save the world, but your kindness just might.

maigh said...

Listen to it, sister.

Just as surely as it'll bring you close to strangers and introduce trouble, it'll get you out.

Hearts are wise and work miracles when we learn to listen.

You're one of the lucky ones.

Anonymous said...

I think doing something, anything, is better than doing nothing. Every small kindness makes a difference in the world.

Aliki2006 said...

Oh, Tabba--I went back and read your links. You are an inspiration and it's your type of heart and kindness that will reinforce this Army of Hope I so dream about!

Beck said...

Beautiful, Tabba.

carrie said...

I am so glad your heart behaves that way - it does matter, a lot.