After getting my tail in gear for a short walk this morning, I stopped to talk with my neighbor Joe about his recent two-week trip to Kenya. He had gone as part of a church effort to lend a hand to people who had less.
It blew him away. Before he returned home, he gave all the clothes in his suitcase away. He helped build mud huts. He helped set up a water tank that had piping to the nearest source, some half-mile away. He received what food these poor people offered. He told stories to children.
Joe is nearing retirement and had spoken before about wanting to help others in some way. The trip to Kenya put his wishes squarely in his face. Standing outside his middle-class home across the street from mine, he seemed newly-embarrassed by all the stuff he had ... all the stuff that was nice enough but not really necessary. He wasn't about to pull some Walden runaway, but he was clearly moved, clearly touched, and clearly somewhat confused: What was his next move? He tried to define and enclose the topic (God came into it, for example), but it didn't really work. His happiness was ... well, confusing.
How nice to hear someone feeling positive about doing something positive.