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Friday, December 22, 2006

The power of one's story

Well the Holiday season is upon us. This year, like any other, the season is a sad one. Most think about the birth of a saviour, but many think of their loss. I lost my favorite Uncle this week. The Mt hood families lost so much that I can not even begin to put any of that into fleeting words.

But last nights adventure broke my heart and made so me thankful to just be breathing today. A group of L.A. "at-risk" youth decided to help a few families that seemed to be worse off than them this year. With the help of local law enforcement officers, the youth where able to gather a collection of things to give to these needy and worthy families. The youth received donations of ; Christmas trees, turkeys, Christmas dinner fixings, presents form the Marine Corps' "Toys for Tots" program, and a few other items. A rental yard donated a big truck which became so much more in the course of the night. As I went along for the ride, deep into regions of the inner city I would never travel in daylight, I was ill prepared for the exposure to the stories of these families that had been chosen by these youth that most of us would normal fear.

I knew that I was exposed and near one of life's peaks, when we arrived to the first sleigh stop. The unbelievable internal tug-a-war between "happy to be apart of this adventure" and the constant looking around the night air for the source of " the standing hair on my neck" took me on an emotional roll-er-coaster. The power of the evening was the tear jerking stories of these families. Let me share one of them with you. The gifts and things were given to a man and two boys; his sons. A few days ago a muched loved lady ,their mother and wife, was in a vehicle accident. The mother was knock unconscious from the collision. As her battered body lay still in the vehicle a fire erupted and burned the vehicle and it's entire contents. She was pregnant with a little girl that was to be born next month. The driver of the vehicle that caused this horrendous event was a drunk driver! As he tried to flee the scene a group of small young (13-16) females, who just happened to belong to a local gang, physically seized this man and held him as a cat holds a dying mouse, until the police showed up. And yes, the girls "got theirs" out of this guy's hide.

I find so many contradictions to so many perceptions held by so many in a story like this. It often makes me wonder if I have the slightest clue about humanity. I think about the realignment of when good becomes bad, and bad becomes good. It often times, seems that we (humans) are at our very best when life is at it's very worse. We can, and do, rise far above our presumed "bad" roles in life and become that "good" person we know we have buried deep inside. Our stories become so powerful, so defining, that there comes a realization that one can effect change in a world of loss and heartache.

The season is about loss! It is about the story of one! It is about changing the world! It is about you and I and our realtionship with change!!!

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