In times of tragedy, people can always be relied upon to come together and to connect . . .
In Boston last week. In Newtown last year. On 9/11 and at Columbine. It has always been so.
Nothing unites individuals quite like grief, shock and pain. Nothing else so highlights our shared humanity, our frightening fragility, our common cause. In times of great need, people always reach out, aiding others, sharing kindness and compassion. But once the dust has settled, what then?
The outpouring that has followed last Monday's terrible events on Boylston Street has been as comforting and inspirational as ever, but it has long been our conviction that such things shouldn't be confined to such times.
You see, we are all connected all the time. Not just when loved ones have been lost. Not just when debris and despair are all around. Not just when something horrific has occurred to remind us that we're all in this together. Today. Tomorrow. Two weeks on Wednesday. This time next year. It's a message that, here at OM®, we're keen to spread.
You can help a stranger on the street any time, not just in the aftermath of disaster. Nothing that we've seen in recent times demonstrates this quite as well as this short film that we'd like to share:
Inspirational stuff, you'll be sure to agree. It's called Kindness Boomerang and it's the work of a group called Life Vest Inside. Founded by Orly Wahba in September 2010, Life Vest Inside stands for the same things that underpin our efforts here at OM®. Things like kindness and compassion. Things like people. Like connection.
'A life vest has the ability to stay afloat regardless of how much one may push down upon it,' Orly explains. 'Our life vest, our ability to overcome our hardships [and] to make it through comes from inside. Through the kindness we bestow on others, through the kindness others bestow on us, we help to keep each other afloat on the stormy seas of life. Kindness changes lives, it helps us rise after we fall.'
This - that kindness helps us get up after a fall - is something that has been evident in the days post-Boston. But what about the rest of the time? Once again, Orly's efforts can serve to guide us.
Take Life Vest Inside's mission, for instance, that 'By creating an exciting and accessible kindness experience, we will become more aware of the opportunities that surround us and recognize our potential to change the world, simply by changing ourselves. By living kindly and believing in the inherent good of each individual, change is possible'.
This is something for us all to think about because, no matter our individual circumstances, we are all connected, in lots of ways that we do understand and in lots more that we don't . . .
The construction worker, the waitress, the homeless man, the teenage girl, the hot dog seller, we all have so much in common and so much to give, in times good as well as those bad. Now is the time to recognize and realize that, now the time to start celebrating and cherishing it.
Let's not wait for the next bad thing to happen before we connect again. Spread kindness and compassion. For the benefit of yourself and others. Come together. Stand up for each other. Be human . . .