“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” – Plato
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
– Mother Teresa
How strong am I? I didn’t know until I faced death, loneliness, depression, lost a loved one, felt the pain of hating my body, experienced the betrayal of a lover, and wrestled with an addiction. These I have done and come back from, being rewarded with an understanding and compassion for those teetering on the point of no return. So many people on that edge, looking self loathing, rejection, and death in the face. These are the outcasts, the downtrodden, the incarcerated, the elderly, the dis-formed, the dysfunctional, the addicted. I will be a friend, a partner to those rejected by the crowd. Starving for affection and acceptance, withering beneath the blazing sun of rejection by family, by friends, by society. Orphans, left behind, stranded on islands of disorders: disorders of eating, thinking, mobility, and socializing. I don’t know their pain, their reason for leaving the path to wander aimlessly through a deep and lonely sea, finding themselves without a way back. I will be the ship on the horizon. I will send up the smoke of my prayers that they may see a sign before they see me and have hope. Many don’t want, or will refuse help. I mean no offense to their independence, I don’t want to change them, that they must do themselves, if they need to change at all. I wish only to offer a respite from their routine. That is my resolution for this new year, to travel to the edge of my world, the edge of the parties, the edge of church services, the edge of bars, the edge of communities, and bring to them a concerned and loving hand of compassion. I will bring hope, an opportunity to get back up and try again, a break to breathe easier, refreshing them. With this sip of cold water, perhaps I may save a life or revive a weary soul to get up and come out of the cold, into the warmth of love. Look for me this new year, you will find me in the company of these, the beautiful rejected ones.