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It is not a matter of devastation or disaster hitting us or someone we love at some point, it is just a matter of when. That is a reality and although this column always focuses on sharing a positive message, there are just sometimes when positive or flowery words are the last thing someone wants to hear. And that's OK, because what someone who is facing devastation or disaster really needs is for us to be present in some way and to listen more than talk.
Many of us respond quickly with a donation of money when a natural disaster or some sort of catastrophic event happens. Others in the community are "doers" and they jump into action to do manual labor, volunteer at a shelter, and offer their time without even thinking about it, it is just how they are wired.
We all respond differently and that's OK too. Some people are prayer warriors and spend hours praying for those facing the storms of life. Some of us are the people who rally others around a cause, they are the cheerleaders and champions who make sure the rest of us are doing are part and getting things done.
And as we all know, and hopefully always appreciate, there are the men and women on the front lines as first responders and all of the police officers, EMTs, firefighters, nurses, doctors, military personnel, rescue workers, the Red Cross, FEMA and other agencies who come from near and far to aid us as they battle floods, fires, terror attacks and any other threat to our communities. A big shout-out to each and every one of these heroes.
It's not always about being the hero, so I would like to encourage anyone who may feel like they never know what to do when it comes to offering help or volunteering in some way to remember that it's not the size of the effort that counts, it's any effort at all that counts. Don't feel or become paralyzed by confusion around what to do or how you can help. You may not be in a position to help many, but every little effort, every single dollar donated, every call you make or every call you take is appreciated by someone. Even if your effort benefits or helps in some small way just one person or family, it matters. You may say, "Well what difference can my small donation make?" Or, "How can spending just a couple of hours volunteering at a shelter help?" Trust me, it matters to that one someone, it matters to that community, and it matters to the others who are shoulder-to-shoulder with you.
So how about you? Can you offer an ear to listen, a few words of prayer and encouragement, can you spare a couple of hours or a few days or weeks to lend a hand, back, and shoulder to help others in need? I would love to hear your helping story at email@example.com, and when we can all come together for the greater good, and not just in times of disaster and devastation, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.
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