St. Vincent of Sheepshead Bay and a bag of dog food

“COURAGE, SACRIFICE, COMPASSION AND HUMANITY–THESE ARE THE MARKINGS OF A SAINT”

-from the movie, St Vincent

I hear these words so often but most of the time, they’re just words with nothing behind them…. and I don’t think that saints are the ones with halos and silver wings…I think saints are found in the most unlikely places, probably more often among the poor than the rich.  After all saints, the real ones are “human beings, very human beings”

I posted this film clip once before…but it’s so meaningful to me that I’m posting it again…so more people can see it.

 *A personal observation:

I started writing this blog about 2 and a half months ago because I wanted to write something that was inspirational, hopeful, beautiful and educational. I wanted to share photos, quotes, experiences, stories and film clips that I hoped would be meaningful to others.

But I also started this because my non profit, Rites of Passage which I founded 28 years ago this month, lost every bit of its funding a year ago. It looked like it would come back and we could survive but it has not. I founded RITES OF PASSAGE in 1988 to provide home care for terminally ill people and since then we have made major contributions in the field of death and dying education and much more..way much more [you can read about some of our work by clicking on the link above]

So I hoped when I wrote about all of this, that people would see the need, appreciate the enormous amount of work  and want to help in some way or another….and a few people have, a very few.

 On all the pages of this blog are these categories: HOME, ABOUT, POOH’S STORE, RITES OF PASSAGE, OUR FILMS and HELPING and I am able to check the stats everyday and see how many visitors and views there are, what country they are from and what categories they are viewing.

Quite a few people are reading the posts and many tell me how much they enjoy them which makes me happy and feel like I’m doing the right thing. But in these past two and a half months since I began writing, people have visited all the pages/categories except HELPING. I think at the very most, maybe 3 people have visited HELPING…it seems like for most, the word is somehow distasteful and the very idea disagreeable…that is until they themselves need help…and regardless of how much money, prestige, fame,insurance etc one has…the need for help will come in one form or another..sooner or later it always does.

I keep remembering a story Elisabeth Kubler-Ross once told me. She told me that had been asked to help a family whose child was dying. [this happened quite often, both with adults and children] This family lived across the country and though they were very wealthy, Elisabeth, paid for her own plane ticket.

Several months later, the child’s father came to visit Elisabeth at her farm in Virginia. Though she hadn’t asked directly, she had believed that the father, in appreciation, would make a contribution to the non profit, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Center.

No contribution did he offer. Rather he brought her a bag of dog food.