Monday, November 15, 2010

Community

I did the 5K for Leo Teemant on Saturday morning. There were probably 200 people there, it was really cold, and my time was probably super slow because by the time we actually started running, my blood had semi-frozen in my veins and I couldn't move very fast. But it was a good run. Between the run, the crafts fair and the Pledgie account, his friends have raised about $30,000. Incidentally, he and his wife both ran, and his tumors are shrinking.
Anyway, my point is not to pat myself on the back for my paltry contribution. I kind of had an aha! moment at the race. When I interviewed them, they talked about how they appreciated the love and support that the race intimated as much as the financial help it would provide. I get that. However, I realized Saturday it's even much more than that. Most of the people there had never met the Teemants. Some, like me, had, but weren't close and would probably never see them again. Yet we were all there to provide support.
It's because, on a very basic human level, we all need each other. That idea, "it takes a village to raise a child," should just be "it takes a village." You just can't do it -- whatever it may be for you -- on your own, no matter how much you think you're doing it. That feeling of community, that we're all better off when we help each other, that everyone truly is my neighbor and I need to love my neighbor as myself, isn't the Golden Rule because it makes us all better people. It does, but it makes us all better together, and the net result is more actual benefit than if we all individually tried to be better. It's like yoking two oxen together; they were able to pull more weight when properly yoked then adding whatever load the two can pull individually.
We really do need to watch out for each other. We all have a responsibility to make sure children aren't kidnapped or abused, wives aren't beaten, husbands aren't overcome with pressure, animals aren't abused, kids playing in the street aren't getting hit by cars and people aren't going hungry. We do this because that means other people are watching out for our kids and our homes and our well-being.
It's a beautiful system. I hope we all appreciate it and live it fully.

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