This week has been a cozy one inside with morning coffee and a fire crackling. The temperature was lucky to rise above zero but mostly stayed in the negatives, torture for anyone holding out in our tent cities or, worse, the ones who don’t even have the protection of a tent. I hope shelters make special accommodations for frigid times like this week rather than let someone freeze, but I’m not doing any better. It’s not like I’m walking down the street to the tents in the park and pulling a Carl Gallagher to let homeless people sleep in our basement.
It’s easier to be cozy inside my own home hoping someone else is making extra efforts to help those in need rather than doing the hard work myself. What does that say about me? Does that make me a less kind or generous person?
I used to prioritize generosity more than checking off my monthly charity donation. I used to lead food drives and coat collections. One winter I recall making winter care packages of hats, mittens, scarves, food, and hot chocolate mixes that I dropped off on the doorsteps of one of the poorer neighborhoods in my city. Since then I’ve let myself take the easy route of mindless, autopay donations–literally a set-it-and-forget-it version of giving. I’m blessed to be able to give financially, but I’d rather pair the intention with action. Like on Earth Day when Stephen, Weston, and I take garbage bags out to pick up trash to show we care about our beautiful earth. I should be showing Wes with actions that we care as much about our fellow humans who are hungry and cold in this coldest week of a Wisconsin winter.
I want to recover the part of me who cared more, who was willing to take time and effort to buoy another. I want to be generous with my time and effort, not only my dollars. I want to be better for myself and to model for Wes and our future baby that they can and should spend time devoted to others. I want to show them we must be kind and spread love not only through our words but, more importantly, through our actions.