Archives for posts with tag: humanity

Monday dawned sunny and bright. I was fortunate to awake to the sound of waves lapping at the lakeshore and the sun peeking over the hill top.


(sunset shot the night before)

There was already a lot of ugly and sadness I could have focussed on if I had let myself. And I admit the temptation to let it swallow me whole was palpable, but I put my big girl panties on, pulled up my positive pants, threw on a great pair of shoes, straightened my tiara and topped it off with bright lipstick and mascara! Well in truth, I took a deep breath, threw back the covers and made a CHOICE to CHOOSE beautiful; to see it, believe it and channel it. And I made that choice over and over when the temptation to doubt tapped me on the shoulder.

Later in the day the headline on my news feed about Manchester appeared.  Manchester – a place from far away that I’ve always associated with sports and music for some reason until that head line. The choice to see beautiful became even more difficult. My shoulders slumped, I just felt heavy.  I felt raw and numb all at once. I think a lot of us did.

Tuesday morning Huffington Post reported “explosion killed 22 people and injured 59, many of them teenagers.”  at an Ariana Grande concert. I witnessed the feelings come out through social media and in the news.

A friend posted, “Tears for those who just went to a concert. Tears for the world.”


A cousin asked,



And then I read my friend Michelle’s eloquent and heart felt Facebook post and am honoured that she gave me permission to share her words with you. When things happen which are impossible to make sense of, in the end all we really want to do is keep our precious treasures, those we love, safe.

Bubble wrap.
I need so much Bubble Wrap.

You know… The stuff you use to keep the things that are most precious to you, safe from harm. We wrap them up so they don’t get broken.

Bubble Wrap… Safe, dependable Bubble Wrap.

It may give one peace of mind, but there isn’t enough bubble wrap in the world on a day like today. On any kind of day in a world like the one we live in this day.

“Prayers for…”
“Our hearts and thoughts…”
“We stand with…”

These phrases are like labels now. Words we use to tape together the Bubble Wrap that we place around our hearts and minds to help keep us sane enough from locking our children in their rooms and nailing shut our windows and doors to keep out all the Bogeymen outside that lurk within a world that keeps getting smaller, from stealing their innocence, our naivete, and our collective sense of normalcy.

There is nothing normal about any of this. Even though this insanity is quickly seeming to become the norm. Padded rooms were once for the insane and yet, here I am, wishing I could wrap every precious being in my world in Bubble Wrap. How insane is that? And yet, Bubble Wrap was my first wish… My first “logical to me” thought while my heart screamed “Why?” and it’s echoes throbbed through my head.

Just as “There are no words…” is heard echoing thoughout the world.

But there are words…
“Please.” and “Stop.”

And there are so many echoes.

Because there will never, ever be enough Bubble Wrap.

©Michelle Laing Hoffman 2017


But until that plea is answered, in amongst the tragic and terrible burns the eternal flame of human kindness and compassion.

Huffington Post reported, “Public transport shut down, and taxis offered to give stranded people free rides home, while residents opened their homes to provide lodging.”

As the BBC noted, Then there are people like this young man who says “We can react in a lot of ways. We can react in anger. Or we can react by doing. This city is a community.”   The news outlets are capturing more than the devastation and carnage, they are capturing the humanity, compassion and resilience as well.

I think Grande summed it up for many of us with her tweet, “broken. from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. I don’t have words.”

“When someone says, “There are no words,” it is there I will find them and we will meet in the silent language of grief.” Benjamin Allen

While I have no words left, I do have kindness and compassion, and with those I will continue to shine my light more brightly so the darkness has no place to grow.

Please.  Stop.

Shine Brightly.


©2017 JFries/Rise Like Air

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File photo from the internet – this is not Megan

Megan Taylor is a good friend of Rise Like Air.  You can read her blogs about her involvement with the Sea Shepherd and other kind endeavours she gives her time and energy too.  That’s the type of person Megan is.  If you’ve read about her on Rise Like Air before, you know that.  She’d give you the shirt off her back and then help you button it up.  She’s probably even give you cash to get it dry-cleaned if there was a spot on it.  She’s just that nice.  She’s the type of person who has the band aid when you don’t.  She goes out of her way to pick up the candy bar wrapper you dropped.  She’s the person smiling and holding the door open when you’re in a rush so self absorbed you forget to say thank you.  That’s ok, Megan will hold it open for you the next time anyway.  She won’t hold a grudge, she won’t go out of her way to teach you a lesson in any other way than being kind.  In my humble opinion Megan is an old soul residing in a teenager.

Megan doesn’t let her health issues stop her or even slow her down for that matter.  But sometimes, despite her courage and her determination, her health drops her right on the floor, literally.  She faints without warning which is a huge risk as it is.  Megan doesn’t let her fear or the possibility of injury or being taken advantage of by someone deter her.  I can’t say I’d be as brave myself.  Quite seriously, very bad things could happen in these situations but fortunately for the most part they haven’t.

The thing I find the saddest is that Megan is so kind, consistently and far too often when something happens to her, she finds herself flat out on the floor with the world going on around her, as if she’s wearing a cloak of invisibility.  Now we can all come up with reasons, we can blame the victim – she should’t go out alone, she should have a guide dog.  Or we justify the reaction, she could have been drunk or an addict or contagious  (I must ask why this would mean we shouldn’t help her.)  How about we all just look out for our fellow human being?  Why can’t we just realize, “Gee whiz, if that happened to me I’d want someone to….” and then just go do it for Pete Sake! (who is Pete again, I do things for his sake a lot I just realized and I don’t even know him)  Ok, back to the serious stuff.  We might not always be there to catch someone when they fall, literally or figuratively, but in truth, more often than not we are there and we can catch them.  We just don’t.  We are too self absorbed and we have become so good at justifying it!

I admit it, I sort of look at Megan as a surrogate child, or niece, or younger sister.  She has become someone I care about from a great distance.  When she shares things I often think, that could be one of my kids.  And as a mother, daughter, aunt and human being it worries me, nauseates me, to think that someone might lie somewhere with people stepping over them.  What worries me even more, is that just maybe, without realizing it, I might be that someone who is so self absorbed I don’t recognize my own callousness.

The other day Megan again had the misfortunate of waking pup on the train station platform where she apparently was shrouded in the cloak of invisibility again.  Here’s the story and her reaction in her own words.

Why do we live in a society where most would rather stand and watch someone suffering than help them? I just collapsed on the platform at the train station and when I eventually woke up I saw lots of people standing there pretending they couldn’t see me or checking their phone to avoid eye contact. Seriously?

If just one person had the courage to be different, check I am breathing, try to wake me, or read the massive medical tag around my neck, then I bet you lots of others would have started to help too. But everyone is so scared to take that first step. Why? If you see someone that needs help, please: be brave, be a leader, set an example, help them! You will soon have a small team of strangers all working together to help. 

It doesn’t have to be like this, each and every one of us has the ability to make a difference. We are each given 24 hours a day, it’s up to us how we use them. Today, and everyday, make yours count!

Be kind, to others, to yourself, and stop trying. ‘Oh well I tried my best,’ hear that a lot? Say that a lot? Stop trying.

Instead, ENDEAVOUR! Someone who tries may quit after 50 no’s. Someone who endeavours won’t quit even after 1000.

Apply that frame of mind to everything in life and it’s impossible to ever truly fail, as each failure is one step closer to success! This advice was given to me a few back when I was lucky enough to meet Bear Grylls, I have never forgotten it, and now I am sharing it with you. Do with it what you will. What have you got to loose?  Megan Taylor

Would you really treat family that way?  We are all members of the same family, the human family and it’s time to make our family just a little less dysfunctional, don’t you think?

I want to say I’m not sitting here typing thinking myself I’m so much better than the people on the platform.  By nature I am kind and compassionate, I am also shy, anxious and an avoider.  Translation, even though in my heart I almost always really want to help, my feet often tell me to run the other way.

Next time you see someone who might be in need of help, before you look the other way, remember.  They have a story too.  You don’t know their story any more than they know yours.  You just think you do.  If you take a few minutes to help, you might find out the real story and it might just be the one you needed to hear.

Things to ponder.  Be kind and make the world a nicer place to live.

©2015 Rise Like Air  J. Fries

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