Monday, February 04, 2008

Observation about myself

I don’t have a cause. I also don’t have clue, really, when it comes to other causes.

I know that most people, who champion a cause, do so, because of something or some event, has affected them.

I feel very blessed and fortunate to not have had too many serious illnesses or other ailments directly affect my life. Sure, cancer has caused me some hardships on a personal level. In the past year or so I have lost a very dear friend, my father-in-law, and my father to various cancers. I have a family member or two that are undergoing treatment of other forms of cancer. And I have another very close friend who is fighting even another type of cancer.

I have a few nieces who are afflicted with rare ailments that require special medical treatment that only comes from seeing special specialists that specialize in their particular disorders.

But again I still don’t have a cause nor do I have a clue. Ignorance is bliss. I am lucky to not have a cause. I never take this luck for granted.

But sometimes I don’t realize what other people have to deal with. And sometimes I don’t realize what other people do that may seem small but really are big.

Two things happened this past week, which totally made me realize how clueless I am.

My first ignorant realization happened at the super market. I was putting groceries in my car and I looked at the back of the car next to me. I saw that it had one of those magnetic awareness ribbons on the bumper. It was not yellow. It was not pink. It was multi-colored and looked like puzzle pieces. I have seen this ribbon so many times while in my car but never up close. I did a double take as I read it. AUTISM Awareness.

I swear (and I am not really proud to admit this) I always thought that those ribbons were a “mock” ribbon and they read AUSTIN awareness. The little puzzle pieces from 20 feet back, through a dirty windshield, kind of look like flowers. Any time I ever saw one I would say in my best Mike Myers impression, “Yeah Baby!”

Ya see? I am an idiot. Ignorant to other causes.

This past weekend, my friend Tara spent most of her Saturday, with her daughter, selling Girl Scout cookies. Trying to be a good friend, I went to her location and bought some cookies to support her and her troop. I figured I could spare a couple of bucks, get some cookies and help the local scouts. It would be my good deed. Tara was very grateful and thanked me like I was doing her a favor which, in a way, I felt that I was.

Later that night as I was enjoying my purchase of the cookies I had a second realization. As insignificant as Girl Scout cookies may seem in comparison to cancer or Autism, I was totally impressed that my friend Tara gives of herself in this way. I know that she is involved because her daughter is involved. But not only is Tara committing herself to her child but she is also committing herself to other people’s children at the same time. I don’t think that many of the people that were buying the cookies that day, realize that the women volunteering with their daughters were volunteering and contributing to many other children. I was not doing them a favor by buying cookies. They were doing my community a favor by volunteering. They should be thanked.

Thanks Tara.

I am not sure of the direction I was going with this post. Mostly I think that, maybe I need to “clean my windshield” more often become more aware of the people around me.


Anonymous said...

My what a lovely surprise! To be honest I think we're all pretty clueless until we have reason to be otherwise.

Yeah for Girl Scouts!

Yeah for cookies!

Best wishes

Anonymous said...

I truly hope you can make it through life without being drawn to a particular cause, because it does seem that those who are most drawn, become that way through hardship. Sometimes a cause beckons us because we are aware of having narrowly escaped. I flirt with those kinds of causes, these days. Life takes all kinds -- those who've directly touched the cause, and those who witness and support. The latter just takes having open eyes and open heart (sometimes open wallet). May you be of the witness/supporter tribe.
Nice post. Good post.

Jennifer said...

Next time, tell that mom, okay? She is not doing it so others will thank her for her community service, she is doing it for herself and her daughter and she feels good that she is contributing. Thing is, volunteers are SO unappreciated that I know it would make her feel better and possibly encourage her to stick it out when the going gets tough (as it often does when doing something for the common good). Nice post.

Janice {Run Far} said...

My windshield is dirty as well. i so need to clean it off and figure out what is going on out there. Thanks for the reminder that I am not the only living being out there.

Anonymous said...

I found a cause recently. I know it's probably bad form to try and plug it in someone else's comments section - but it's important enough to me to risk that.

The Long Walk

Undercover Mutha said...

I hear ya, buddy. I hear ya.

Suzy-Q said...

Sounds like you found a clue!

Ali said...

A couple of my girlfriends have young sons (one is only 8 months old!) who have cancer. They are shaving their heads next month to raise money for childhood cancer research. That's a damn good cause, don't you think?

The Egel Nest said...

A deep and thoughtful post from the comical William.

Well said...we all could be more aware of causes and people around us :)

The Egel Nest

MrsDoF said...

During the season of my life when I was having babies, walking the floor with teething babies, diapering babies, covering wall outlets and fussing with cabinet door locks to protect crawling babies, I did not have any other "Cause" to think about either.

As our sons got older, began formal schooling, got more involved with friends and in the community, so did we parents.
Just like you noticed with the mother and the Girl Scout.

I have helped load a semi-truck with supplies for the victims of Hurricanes Andrew and Rita, been 'the popcorn lady' for school socials, and baked as many cookies as there are stars in the sky.

You will have plenty of time and opportunity to "get involved" and you will notice the swift uptake as soon as your kid brings home the first Fundraiser Form.

Meanwhile, encourage your missus to keep on with her own blog. She's beginning to see a light of freedom in the distance. Unless you decide to have a third kid like I did ;)


eclectic said...

So long as you make such self-discoveries, you cannot be described as "clueless." I like you, Bill. You're good peeps. This was nicely done.

Unknown said...

Yep, we all need to do that a little more often, I think.

I ditto the thoughts here, William. I like this post. You're good peeps.

Meegs said...

Great post Bill... we all need to think about this a little more often.

My post today is in a similar vein.

Amber said...

Wow! Kind of deep. So I guess that would mean I was in deep "poop" while reading your post.

I like it!

Susie said...

I think some people have causes and others have "missions" so to speak. It's clear from your following that you are fulfilling your mission... and nicely. And I've enjoyed you using the platform you have created to - in your way - discuss more serious things in between the "poop & boogies."

Charlie Blockhead said...

Thanks for the laugh...Hey maybe that could be your cause "Poop and Boogies Helping To Spread Laughter All Across The World"

Anonymous said...

While I appreciate your honesty about your cluelessness, I just don't get why some people are clueless.

But then again, as a person with cerebral palsy as well as being a cancer survivor, causes or whatever you want to call them seem to have been in my face all my life.

And maybe that's why I don't get it.

But I commend you for noticing that your windshield is dirty. I hope you can find something to give to. Trust me it does good things for your karma and makes you feel great too.

Nature Girl said...

This was a really good post Bill. I think most of us could do with a clean windshield every now and again.

Anonymous said...

"I was not doing them a favor by buying cookies. They were doing my community a favor by volunteering. They should be thanked."

I loved that part. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa said...

As someone who had enough dirt on the windshield to grow a crop of potatoes, I wiped it clean a couple of years ago and must say ... a little giving foes a long way. I found I didn't have to change my life or suddenly become Mother Theresa to make a difference or feel better about myself. ...Barbra Peapod

OhTheJoys said...

...or maybe do a little volunteer work. I don't know how far you are from the city, but I can totally recommend Philadelphia Cares.