“Why should we help people far away when people close to us need help?”

I just finished helping with a Summer Camp, and we collected quarters to send to India to help people have clean water to drink. I asked one of the preschoolers, “Why should we help people far away when people close to us need help?” He said, “I had a lemonade stand, and I really didn’t get too many customers. If people need water someplace else, don’t you think we should go where they need it?”

Do you need some Lemonade?

Anyone want to buy  some Lemonade?

See a need, meet a need. It sounds so simple when a young child speaks, yet it gets quite complicated when we enter into the world of governments, religions, ethics and needs. The United States has always been a country that has tried to be helpful to meet needs. We have so many current needs in the United States that it is easy to think we should work on these first so that we can be stronger to help others. However, maybe that scope is too limiting. 

Maybe we need to look at our next door neighbors that live on our street at the same time as we look at our next door neighbors who live across the globe. Some of us are great at serving lemonade to the neighborhood. Some of us are great at serving lemon pie to the county homeless shelter. Some of us are great at traveling to another state to serve people needing their roof fixed after a lemon tree falls on their roof in a hurricane. Then there are those of us who are great at going to another part of our world and meeting any need no matter how sour the lemons may produce.

Each person seems to have their own ability to serve in ways that make sense to them and can offer greatness. The only thing that never makes sense is to keep looking at your own lemons and never seeing the beauty that sharing lemonade may offer.

Anyone want to buy water? This is enough quarters to help 65 children drink clean water for a year.

Anyone want to buy water? This is enough quarters to help 65 children drink clean water for a year.

  • Do you remember ever having or stopping at a child’s lemonade stand?
  • If 1000 extra lemons arrived at your doorstep, what would you do with them?
  • Who do you find most fulfilling to serve-those closest to you or those farthest away?
  • Will you take some time to think of ways you can fully engage in serving others that are unique to who you are?

As we go to bed tonight, just for a bit, try and remember those who will never have that pleasure. If you would like to think more about the lottery of birth decision, just click here.

“I want everybody to go jump in the ocean to see for themselves how beautiful it is, how important it is to get acquainted with fish swimming in the ocean, rather than just swimming with lemon slices and butter.”

Sylvia Earle

 

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