Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Power of a Deed

It is not difficult to find need in the world.  It is right at our back doorstep and spans the world.  One finds it in urban slums and in some of the most beautiful settings in the world.  Four miles from where I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan lies the poorest congressional district in the nation.  As the pajamas flow into Bennison Gives, sometimes I am struck with anxiety about how I can continue to give, but need presents itself at home and abroad, both a sad commentary on inequality in the world and an opportunity to make a small difference.

In many moments I question our giving - wouldn't it be better to give medicine, or aren't there bigger problems to tackle?  I keep coming back to the idea that whatever it is, it is better to do something.  We can all make a difference, and even the smallest gesture has bigger implications.  Not just cozy jammies for a good night's sleep but the love, caring and compassion that go with it.

I am so grateful to witness each week acts of kindness from women all over the country who spend their time and energy and love collecting and cleaning and folding and sending us pajamas for children in need.  When I open the packages and read the notes I feel the love, and I have seen children and families light up when receiving pajamas.  So many of the beautiful photos we have illustrate this joy and gratitude.  So my motto is: do SOMETHING.  Any act of kindness matters, and the intention behind these actions is felt and is as real as any tangible action.

This all reminds me of an article I read in the New York Times last summer by Shmully Hecht called "The Power of a Deed."  The piece is about Rabbi Scheerson, "who reminded us that every person and every good deed is important.  He embodied the concept that Judaism was summed up in a single act of unconditional kindness and pioneered a global movement based on this ideal."  I loved the article so much I look a picture:

A single act of unconditional kindness.  Every good deed is important.  Do SOMETHING.

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