Last night we had our annual Clovis Hills sponsored Christmas party for the Fresno Emergency Family Shelter. It was a great time as always. Alan Yerxa and I provided the tunes, we had Santa show up, a bunch of Clovis Hills folks came out and everyone had a great time.
It was a little different for me this year though and I think it just has to do with the Africa trip coming up and some of the training I’ve been through for that. At our team building meeting the speaker took some time to talk about the importance of just loving people. As Americans we are always so focused on tasks and results that often we forget about just being with people. I mean physically just sitting and interacting with folks. So it was interesting that I had several people come up to me last night and ask what they could do, or if they could have brought something extra or given some more money or whatever. And suddenly a light went on. I was seeing first hand what this guy was talking about.
So I had to stop and explain that just showing up, just being there and talking to these people, singing along with them, eating with them, sharing stories about the kids and enjoying Santa’s corny jokes together… that’s the greatest “task” each of us was given. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about people who are struggling, it’s that they are outcasts in our performance driven society, and they want nothing more than to feel included, to feel “normal”.
So next time you get involved with some form of social work or charity and you want to do something… remember that often just showing up is what’s most needed .