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Friday, September 09, 2005

Bridging the gap

The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation newsletter is titled "Bridging The Gap". I love that title because it suggests bridging the literal gap between synapses in the neuro-pathway that defines spinal chord injury but it also suggest bridging the gap between different groups of people and overcoming our differences. Bridging the gap can mean moving to New Orleans and cleaning up after Hurricane Katrina, or it can be a kind word to someone that's not in your circle of just-like-me's.

There are so many ways to make a difference in the world - not all of them make headline news. How can you make it better today?

All Things Possible!
Chris

9 Comments:

  • At 5:55 AM, September 09, 2005 , Anonymous Patrick said...

    Chris, excellent ponderance! I ask myself two questions every day: How can I make it better is my morning question. Did I do all I could to make today a good day is my "before I go to bed" question.

    How can I make my world better today? I can be good. I can be gentle. I can consider everything with kindness. I can appreciate the beauty in all things from mountains to buildings to flowers to people. I can be watchful of my actions and the actions of others; and provide constructive opinions to those who want it. I can think carefully about what I am about to do or say. I can do the right thing right the first time (because I will not have the opportunity or time to do it again!). I can love, and verbalize it. I can find opportunities for improvement. I can consider that all things are possible and work toward that end.

    Thank you, Chris, for sharing with us some fuel for thought. As a society and a planet, I hope we move in this direction more so that issues can be discussed and resolved instead of fought over.

    Stay your beautiful self.
    Patrick in Pittsburgh

     
  • At 6:47 AM, September 09, 2005 , Blogger Linds said...

    Patrick said it so beautifully I don't know what more I can add except lend a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. ~Linds

     
  • At 6:50 AM, September 09, 2005 , Blogger Linds said...

    Thanks for letting me post this, Chris!! ~Linds

    Help a friend "Light the Night"
    Hello! My name is Jennifer and on Friday, October 7, 2005, I will be walking in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's annual Light the Night walk to raise money to cure blood cancers. I am participating this year as a member & team captain of the national Friends of Allie team.

    Did you know??

    Every ten minutes, a child or adult dies from leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma.
    In one school day, 46 children will learn they have cancer.
    Every five minutes, someone in the United States learn that they have leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma – nearly 300 people a day!

    An estimated 712,145 Americans are presently living with leukemia, lymphoma & myeloma.
    Leukemia is the leading fatal cancer in young men and woman under the age of 20.

    Light the Night is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s major annual fundraiser, and the funds are desperately needed to both work towards finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s Disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life for patients and families.

    While the statistics on blood cancers are sobering, it is devastating to hear the impact that leukemia has on children. Leukemia accounts for just over 30% of cancers diagnosed in children under the age of 15, and approximately 3000 children die from a blood cancer every year. The Friends of Allie team walks in memory of Allie Scott, a baby girl from Texas who died from acute myeloid leukemia just before turning 9 months old, and in honor and memory of many other brave children fighting cancer. We are a team several thousand strong, walking all over the globe for these children. Working hard to raise money and raise awareness for these children, as well as to reach out and help their families.

    As a young girl, I had a classmate and friend fighting leukemia, I will never forget Jerome, and even at the tender age of 6 ~ my heart was touched. No child should have to fight this disease.
    It is my hope that you will support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s mission to work towards eradicating this horrible disease. In 2004, Friends of Allie became The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's first National Friends and Family Team. This amazing group of 2,200 walkers together raised more than $428,000!! With your support, we will surely surpass Team Friends of Allie's goal to raise $600,000 nationwide. My own personal goal is $500. I can’t do it without the support of people like you!

    UPDATE: 09-06-05 - The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has dedicated resources & funds to assist blood cancer patients displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The Society is reaching out to treatment facilities in the surrounding region to find out which ones are able to help displaced patients from the evacuated areas. They are offering financial aid to eligible patients and will provide support to overburdened cancer centers that are caring for patients displaced by the hurricane. In order to help meet the critical need to restore health care to the communities ravaged by the hurricane, the Society will commit $1 million to help get blood cancer treatment centers and patient support services in the devastated areas up and running again. The organization will carry out this commitment through two of its major fundraising campaigns with a half-million dollars coming from the 2005 Light the Night® Walk. Please consider donating to Light the Night, to help these patients who are not only suffering
    from cancer, but the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina.

    Please visit my online donation site and give as your able. No amount is too small and every dollar helps! Thank you!!!!

    www.active.com/donate/ltnPortla/ltnJCooper8

    To learn more about Light the Night or to find a walk near you, visit: http://www.lightthenight.org

    To learn more about the national Friends of Allie team, visit: http://www.friendsofallie.org





    "What good is a house, if you haven't
    got a decent planet to put it on?"
    - Henry David Thoreau













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  • At 6:37 PM, September 11, 2005 , Anonymous DaveW said...

    Thanks for the food for thought Chris - with so much going wrong in the world it really isn't enough just to "stay out of the way" and keep from making the world a worse place. If we all just took a moment now and then to think "how can I make it better?" I believe we would all be surprised to find out how quickly a difference can be made!

     
  • At 5:57 PM, September 12, 2005 , Anonymous Kathy said...

    Making a difference starts in your own backyard.Its the simple things that make the difference. Clean out that closet you have been putting off for weeks and Donate those old clothes you dont want anymore to charity.
    Go out and ask your neighbor how they are doing. Maybe by listening and being there you can make a difference for them. Offer assistance to those who could use a helping hand. Help out that stranger pick up there groceries that they dropped on the street, instead of just passing them by and telling ourselves, someone else will help - im in a hurry.
    We can all make a difference, big or small we all have the power to do so. Something is better than nothing - and most of the time we never really know how much of a difference we have actually made,just by being thoughtful.

     
  • At 8:06 PM, September 12, 2005 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on making a difference in people's lives. And I appreciated the Linds writing about the need for a cure for leukemia and other cancers. I lost a best friend, Loretta, a year ago this June to leukemia. and am working on the campaign a little bit from my location. I'm glad so many people are thinking about the difference their words or actions can make...being a bridge for someone else.

    I just found this quote on an old calendar. It's attributed to Martin Luther: "Faith, like light, should always be simple and unbending; while love, like warmth, should beam forth on every side, and bend to every necessity of our brethren."

    Here's to beautiful bridges, MBP

     
  • At 4:51 PM, September 13, 2005 , Anonymous Marshall said...

    It is interesting your point this week. I am from Louisiana, where I was reared, and spent all the summers of my youth in New Orleans. I have relatives who made an early retreat from the city and all of their belongings have been damaged--although they were heavily insured. They say that the president and others do not want photographers or spectators to see the ruin or, of course, the bodies. Interestingly enough, one of my cousins--on my mother's side--who is far too alcoholic and disinterested in his own life (he doesn't need to work for a living), fled to the french quarter from his home in the garden district to his favorite bar. He was evidently joined there by many of his friends and many wealthy people who deserted their homes to come to the highest ground in the city which is the quarter. The police, by order of the mayor and the commissioner ordered the city police to desert their posts and form a circle around the quarter, heavily armed, to keep out the poor and the unwelcome and protect the wealthy. And so they all sat there through the night, high and dry, waiting for the end of Katrina's wrath. Which leads me to your question: "How can you make it better today?" I suppose the only reasonable answer, although I am not likely to take part myself, is to take the words of Vladimir Lenin far more seriously.

     
  • At 5:30 AM, September 14, 2005 , Blogger mattfromoz said...

    Now this is a valuable question and i really hope everyone listens to their own answers aswell. The world needs this kind of attitude and every little positive input makes a difference. To start, having a site like this (Chris, you rule even more than you think) to bring people internationally together is already making today better!

    In answer to your question 'how can you make it better today?' i would say kindness, honesty, respect, and being true not only to others but yourself.

    Down here in Australia, if you walk into a bar, you shake people's hands, introduce yourself, and chat. In shopping centers, waiting in the queue at the checkout, you quite often find yourself talking to the person infront or behind you. It's this kindess and outreach of friendship that makes the daily difference. With every shaken hand, every g'day, with every 'how ya doin', you've already stopped some kind of social evil (unless the person your with is just plain rude, then you respect their wishes and back off) and by doing this, a unit of mates so to speak is forever growing.

    This kind of thing should be happening everywhere. I know it's sometimes not possible under different circumstances, but trying at first is a whole heap more beneficial than standing back and keeping secluded (if any of this makes sence).

    My point is if you think about how you go about your daily life and events, there are so many opportunities to change the way of things. I was watching this news program the other night where they did this survey on public decency. They got this old man to walk up and down these stairs infront of a building with a real heavy suitcase and secretly filmed who would actually stop and help. On another side of town, they got this women to carry around this breifcase, got her to accidently open it and make papers fly everywhere just to see who would stop and help gather them up again. Out of hundreds of people passing both the old man and the woman, 3 or 4 actually stopped and helped. It really opened my eyes and made me realise how much we've changed over the years and it's really disgusting. Think about it...

     
  • At 3:06 AM, September 15, 2005 , Anonymous Jaschenka said...

    This one goes out to all those peeps out there who dare to make a difference..including you, Chris.

    (Kane, 'Believe')
    Tell me would you wanna go out there
    Tell me would you wanna go out there
    See the world in all it's truth
    There's a lot that you can do
    without giving in
    One of these days

    Tell me do you wanna believe it
    Tell me would you wanna receive
    its fate and fortune in your hand
    It's there to understand
    Not to give in

    Tell me do you wanna believe it
    Tell me would you wanna receive this life
    that's only meant for you
    There's so much that you can choose
    without giving in

    And one of these days
    It's gonna come right back to you
    One of these days

    Tell me do you wanna go out there?
    Tell me would you wanna go out there love
    You wanna trust you heart today?
    Or you wanna keep it far away?
    Cause sometimes it's gonna run deep
    Sometimes it's gonna explode
    Feels right just to fantasize
    Feels right not to compromise

    I got the heart and soul
    I got my right from wrong
    Yes I believe it
    Got to believe it
    Got my heart and soul
    And the will to go on
    Yes I will believe it
    And it feels good..

     

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