“Sometimes you wonder if it makes a difference”… and sometimes we have proof that even a small act does.
Tonight, I went to mass. I stood in the back, for lack of seats. Chords were struck. Immediately, I felt back at home. The guitarist rocked out to Out Loud. There is no other way to phrase Ross’ phenomenal display of praise, and one that reminded me of college, community, and the reminder to reach out to others when we might need it ourselves.
After thanking Ross, I went to be with my ‘community’. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a fantastic Young Adult group that meets most Sunday nights. Tonight we chose to watch a documentary.
A small act, but a big lesson:
Hilde was a Holocaust survivor who sought refuge in Sweden during World War II. Years later, she began donate to a fund to help a boy in Kenya go to secondary school that his family could not afford. This changed his life, as then he was able to attend University, and later Harvard. Most amazingly of all, today Chris’ chosen line of work is in peacekeeping and refugee services for the UN. From Hilde’s act of caring for another after her survival of such atrocities was born the tidal wave of work against genocide and for peace. Furthermore, Chris began the Hilde Back foundation, without ever have meeting or speaking with the women who gave him a gift. As he put it “it was not about money. Hilde gave me hope”.
And so did this documentary. So often I think we fall into two easy camps: 1. Happy Ignorance or 2. I cannot do anything. We’ve been taught that this is ok. But I think Chris and Hilde’s approach of taking one small act is the way I’d rather live- taking a million small acts that will lead to exponentially more.
One friendship, endless benefits:
Today these two wonderful people have a beautiful friendship. Their connection is one routed in peace and generosity. Best of all, this connection has born great fruit in terms of an example of compassion towards others, peace, and how to stop genocide.
Tonight, this modern example of a women, an everyday Mother Teresa who did what she could, shows us the lesson of taking a small act, even without knowing the end result. We just need to do.
I will never know if Hilde Back ever listened to Dispatch’s beloved song. But years ago, her name was called.
If your name had been called today to commit a small act, I know you would.