On this day a year ago my husband, father, and sister-in-law flew from Seattle to Baltimore to join my brother and me. We had made the trip on August 26th, early in the morning the day after celebrating my son’s 17th birthday. All family focus was on the transplant surgery scheduled for September 1.
From the first news of the traumatic wreck, working as a team, my entire family took on the project of saving and protecting my life. The transplant was just the next step, albeit a gigantic one! Across the country and in half a dozen countries around the world (that I know of) friends and strangers prayed and gave assistance however possible. Although many times I’ve felt lonely in my pain, the truth is that all along I’ve been held by a vast web of kindness.
We’re not islands. We don’t exist and thrive exclusively through our own grit. Please don’t misunderstand, grit rocks and I’m all for it. I’m extemporaneously typing these thoughts on my phone after returning home from pushing myself through a yoga class that kicks my half-butt. I put focus and intention every day into growing as strong as I can mentally, physically, and spiritually. Yes, I’ve got grit. But that’s only an option because of the support from other people. Living in community is the only way we can all thrive.
Do you want to accomplish greatness? Follow this prescription: commit to personal fortitude AND pour your heart into building strong community. Give all of your presence, attention, and kindness to others without agenda. Nurture relationships without the interference of ego and judgement. Community requires compassion to flourish.
As write these words I’m counting down the hours to the 1-year anniversary of my brother giving me a kidney. His sacrifice gave me a stronger body and a heart more deeply committed to the power of service and compassion. We all possess the power to make a world of difference.