A young mother of two small girls suddenly found herself single and destitute. One afternoon as she pondered her situation and how to make her pitifully small earnings meet her family’s needs, she noticed her next-door neighbor whom she knew also struggled financially, quietly place four bags of groceries by her door.
So deeply grateful for this gesture of friendship the young mother was even more appreciative for what she found in the bags. Not staples like bread and milk, but cookies and fruit and other snacks that her children loved, but that she could not now afford. In the bags she found hope for a better tomorrow through the power of generosity.
An elderly couple worried over a large and deep-rooted tree stump in their front yard that needed to be removed. The husband was certain he could do it, but his wife agonized at this idea because of his history of heart problems. How could she convince her self-reliant husband to call upon someone else for help?
Enter a neighbor who had made it a habit to check on this couple from time to time. The elderly wife confessed her concern and while her husband was out, the neighbor, in the heat of the day, dug out the stump. A life may have been spared by the power of service.
A man, stricken in his prime by ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), could no longer hold a book or even lift his head to enjoy the pleasure of reading what was once such an important part of his life. A teenage girl understood his need and willingly spent time reading to this dying man. Sitting in the quiet atmosphere of his home her young voice communicated the power of charity.
Recovering from a painful surgery and unable to accomplish the daily tasks of caring for her family, an anxious wife and mother was surrounded by the goodness of neighbors and friends who supplied meals and offered help in household duties. One friend visited repeatedly with treats and encouraging words. These simple gestures of thoughtfulness instilled within the recipient a powerful affirmation that she was important.
While suffering mercilessly from bullying at school, a young girl sought relief by searching out another student whose suffering appeared to be greater than hers. Purchasing small gifts and putting them together with notes of encouragement, she anonymously gave these heartfelt expressions as a secret friend, and through the power of unselfishness and patience she lifted her burden while focusing on lifting the burden of another.
When a terminal cancer sufferer, too weak to leave her home, yearned to feel the warmth of companionship and hear the words of comfort she once gleaned from attending church, neighbors and members of her women’s group brought church into her home through songs, scriptural readings, laughter and shared moments of affectionate encouragement as long as she was strong enough to bear company. The power of time shared together created a bond between these women as they cheered their friend in her last days of life.
Each of these stories is true. Most occurred here in Page with people like you and me taking notice of the needs and suffering in the lives of others and exercising their power to make those lives better.
I believe that there are countless other stories that could be written about the power of goodness found in our community.
Where the world might define power as becoming a celebrity, holding high political office, or being monetarily rich, real power is in how we can affect the lives of others for good.
During this past year members of the Page Anti-Drug Alliance (PADA) have worked with great effort to make our community aware of the mounting substance abuse problem that exists here.
Newspaper articles, business e-letters, presentations by professionals in the field to many different groups, a new and flourishing martial arts program, a Page High School SADD chapter, and a beautiful prevention calendar created by our youth along with many other contributions of time and experience has provided a warning about the devastating effects of substance abuse on our families and an education on how to recognize, prevent, and intervene in issues of substance abuse.
In recognition of what PADA knows to be the desire of good people to protect their families, the group is presenting block watch parties in 20 different neighborhood areas throughout the summer.
Neighbors will be invited to come out and speak of their concerns to members of law enforcement. During these events we citizens will have the opportunity to exercise our power of voice and commitment toward making our community a more drug-free and safer place to live as families and friends.
Page police officers will be handing out fliers when a block watch is coming to your neighborhood.
Please come out and be heard. Commit your power for a brighter future by acting now. Your power is in the present moment.
Bunny Cochran is a prevention specialist for Encompass Health Services and a member of the Page Anti-Drug Alliance.
Share on Facebook