KINDRED #52

Now that was an interesting shoot. After months of coordinating, I finally interviewed the founder of One Simple Wish, Danielle and one of her lovely staff. This NPO exists to gather and distribute items and assistance to children in foster care. I admire this organization tremendously. It’s all about the love, however that can give it. I told her as much when we hugged after our interview.

It gives me hope that people exist in this world who are willing and driven to help children with little or nothing material to gain in return. After all of my interactions, it’s presented me with a mental montage of why the human race deserves to survive. It’s a harsh world. People harm each other in the most perverse ways everyday.

We have nearly ruined our home planet. We throw children into the lions den daily. Recently, a hunter killed a prized lion in Africa named Cecil. The world was outraged as well as I, but I must admit I asked myself how many children’s lives is Cecil’s life worth? It seems like he was a very sweet animal and I hope the murderer is shown what just means, but I bet he would have protected his young in any way he had to. That shows a lot more courage that most people exhibit when it comes to the young in America.

I also got to spend my off time with Dara, a friend I’ve known since elementary school and one of the most solid, kind human beings I’ve even known. We spent almost a week at her loving home on Pine Island, a small very rural area above the top of New Jersey into New York. It was amazing. Her house borders on a huge farm and whisky distillery dressed as a quaint red barn. I took my coffee out with me every morning and just absorbed the tranquility. We talked like only real friends can talk. We watched stupid, hysterical movies and we burned things in her fire pit. On one night, we wrote things on paper; either that we want to bring into our lives or be rid of and burned them up. It was incredibly therapeutic. In short, we had a blast.

Then at the end of the trip, I had the run of a friend’s house who was away on vacation. It has a pool, jacuzzi, breathtaking gardens, sculpture and the most eclectic collection of ornamentation I’ve ever encountered. It also had animals like dogs and ducks and a goat and a rooster. I could’ve done without him but I’m grateful I had my time there. It borders on a huge clearing and path into acres of woods. It’s right near my old college, Rider, so a couple of people I knew who lived in the area came to hang out and play. We took a blanket out into the clearing to see the stars. It hurt after a few minutes but it was outweighed by the wonder of the universe.

It helped to reenforce my mission. Honestly, caring this much about something that you try to bring it into conversation and exhortation daily, is exhausting sometimes. I have a huge heart and while I have made choices to help guard it, I naturally wear my heart on my sleeve. Stoic is not a word I ever anticipate being used to describe me. Kindred has finally answered the question plaguing me my entire life, how do I use it? Not in my personal life but for the improvement of the lives of others. Even bringing awareness helps people in ways I’ll never know. But I know it’s the path I want to walk. With the encouragement of my friends, of our magnanimous supporters I will walk softly but carry a big stick. And a bigger mouth.

There is no going back and I am thankful for it everyday. And for every ounce of good will we generate for this cause.

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