Human Goodness

“Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power,
but in character and goodness.”

Anne Frank,
German-born Dutch Jewish diarist and Holocaust victim

The new year has arrived, and I, like so many others feel hope. Hope for peace, love, understanding, relief from suffering. Hope for fresh new beginnings. Don’t we all hope 2024 will be better than last year?!

Despite everything Anne Frank suffered as a young Jewish girl hiding from the Nazis in World War II, before being captured and killed, she still believed in the goodness of people.

As we view the current state of our world – the wars, racism, antisemitism, hunger, devastation – it may be difficult to find that goodness. But I know good people are all around us. I see them constantly, and interact with many. Good doesn’t blow it’s own horn or attract the attention of the 6 o’clock news networks. Many good decent people go about their days quietly, bringing their positive energy into the world, helping others, contributing to worthy causes.

So don’t give up that spark of hope. If you ever wonder, “What can I, just one person, possibly do to make a difference?”, let me show you some actual examples.

The letter below was written by a young girl named Amy who was preparing for her confirmation. She cut and tied two fleece blankets , and donated them to our Healing Environments Program.

“I made blankets for patients with cancer. It took about two hours per blanket. My hands began to ache during the first hours of cutting. But I knew that no pain was greater than what these patients must be going through. That was what pushed me to work hard on these blankets.

I am imagining the smiles on the faces of the two people who will receive them. And I hope the blankets bring them comfort and inspire them to never give up.

Through this work, I learned that I could do anything if I only put my mind to it. I know now that in order to make confirmation, you have to think about others, and really take other perspctives in life.”

The following thank you is from a patient at St Mary:

On a recent morning when I was feeling especially blue, two smiling ladies  (Healing Ambassador Volunteers) appeared at the door of my hospital room.  They gave me the most beautiful crocheted blanket in lovely pastel shades! Following their visit, I was no longer blue; I was warm and wrapped in the love of someone unknown to me, someone who just cared. Thank you so so much!

To all of you gifted and talented volunteers who not only give of your time, but take the time to knit, crochet, or sew for us, the patients. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

This final note is from a cancer patient:

Hello, my name is Charleen. I was in the hospital two weeks ago in need of a transfusion. I have stage 3 breast cancer. While I was a patient, a very nice lady came and asked if I would like a turban. (I’ve lost some of my hair.) What a blessing! I was going to have to buy some, but this angel invited me to choose several turbans and sleep caps. I wear them all the time! Then she came back with an absolutely beautiful afghan in my favorite color, purple!

I can’t tell you how much these gifts mean to me. You (crafters and volunteers) are being God’s hands and feet. May God bless you all!

In the spirit of the new year, and in an effort to put the positive “out there”, I and my friend Carole are starting a new crafting/gathering group. Krafting Konnections will have its first meeting January 18th at a local library. (For more details, contact me). The idea came about as I realized several friends were experiencing very difficult life challenges. Carole and I decided getting together to craft, have lunch, socialize, stay connected and purposeful could be helpful. There are many scientific studies proving that staying connected and purposeful benefit health and wellbeing.

So the happy news is…one person can make a difference. But it’s a lot more fun with friends. So gather together, share your time and talents, and do something productive. Our weary world will be better for it.