Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Things That Make You Go Hmmm...

Despite the way some people act with each other, I still believe in humanity. We just have to work harder in being an ideal population.

Just thought I would share with you some interesting things that we have to work on to strengthen humanity. These are true events that happened in a small town.

Event 1:

I was recently invited for coffee and cake at a friend's home, when all of us were telling the hostess which neighbors we knew in her neighborhood. I and several others mentioned that we had sent donations of food to one of her neighbor's across the street. Another friend mentioned the neighbor's name. Our hostess said that she did not know that family because they had moved about four months ago. Needless to say, our hostess felt a little embarrassed not knowing that her own neighbor was in need of assistance.

Lesson learned (I am sure you can learn more): Get to know your neighbors. Visit them, especially when they first move to the neighborhood.

Event 2:

Due to schedule conflicts, I finally had the chance to meet with a friend. Her son and mine are friends since preschool days. I took with me one bag of candies and another bag of chocolates since it was awhile when I last socialized with my friend. I visited with my friend while our sons played for 2.5 hours, and not once did my friend offer something to drink or eat. She didn't even offer my son a drink of water, after he came in from playing outside sweating. He asked for it. My friend also opened the bag of chocolates and ate one in front of me, not offering any.

My friend's family has money. They travel the world. They have expensive tastes. To me there is a difference of being frugal and cheap. This is really cheap.

Now the point is not eating or drinking, but hospitality. What happened to being hospitable? Are the days of entertaining guests formally or casually die? Is it the norm to expect not to be offered things when you attend gatherings?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Anna Baltzer presents:

Co-Sponsored by Private Citizens and Rockford Peace & Justice

Friday, April 24, 2009
7:00 to 9:00 PM
Katie’s Cup
502 7th St.
Rockford, IL 61104
Free and open to the public. No children please.
Space is limited—reservations requested.
RSVP by Tuesday, April 21 to (preferred)
Or call

Anna Baltzer, a Jewish American Columbia graduate, Fulbright scholar, granddaughter of Holocaust refugees, and human rights worker with the International Women's Peace Service, is coming to town with her acclaimed presentation and book, providing photographic documentation of the situation in the West Bank and critical information often misrepresented or ignored in the Western media. Anna's presentation covers checkpoints, settlements, Israeli activism, the 1948 war & refugees, censorship, the Separation Wall, nonviolent demonstrations, and more.

For further information about Anna's work and tour schedule, please visit
Anna will also be selling and signing copies of her book: Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Humbling Experience

I meant to write this post yesterday, but the day went by quickly.

Yesterday, I had the privilege and honor to help deliver 300 pounds of food and household items to a family in need in my area. One of my friends who was helping told us not to expect emotions or feelings from the family for a variety of reasons.

When we arrived at the home, it seemed like a sad home. A home that was in need of desperate repair. The homeowner, a father on leave from the U.S. Reserves, opened the door and smiled to greet us. Although his eyes looked sad, he managed a smile and a warm welcome. Three friends, the homeowner and I carried the boxes and bags of donated items.

After we about 15 minutes, we were done. He invited us to meet his wife who is recovering and slowly gaining back movement in her body. She was paralyzed and is making a miraculous recovery through their strong belief in their religious faith. Her husband has been unemployed since he came back from the U.S. Reserves to take care of his wife, 24 hours/7 days per week. They have five children, two of them on disability. The wife was working before she came down with an infection, leaving her temporarily paralyzed.

We chitchatted with the family for about 20 more minutes. Then we left. Since I left their home, I have been thinking about them and how we can help them some more. I do know that a local school is having a golf tournament on the family's behalf to help pay for medical bills.

I have been on a "Happy High". I was happy all day yesterday and even today. I haven't felt like that in a very long time.

If you are interested in helping this family, do leave a comment with your email address, and I will get back to you.

This is awesome!