The past 6 months, really the last year, has filled America with a certain anger and hatred that I never thought I would see.
I have seen my most tolerant friends attack entire groups of people for not supporting the right person, I have watched strangers spew hatred at each other and seen families let politics come between them.
This is not a political post; I despise politics. I bring it up only because the last year has really made me question humanity; people who decide to create hate over a single mark on a ballot rather judge a person by the content of their character and actions in every day life. I have been sad, and a little scared by how ruthless people have shown themselves to be.
It took a baby and stranger who desperately needed help, to assuage my fears that our country would fall apart based on a vote; that people are more than their political rants and ravings.
A few weeks ago a friend, nearly in tears, told me of a student of hers. This student, we will call her “M,” had overcome the odds of growing up in the foster system to achieve high marks in college and has plans to move on to law school after graduation.
“M,” with just one more semester to go, was contacted by social services and told that she must come pick up her 10 month old nephew and sign papers for guardianship immediately or they would have to place him into the foster system. His mother was nowhere to be found.
This brave girl, who knows nothing about babies, didn’t hesitate. She signed the papers and was sent home with a baby to care for with nothing more than a single bottle and the clothes on his tiny back. She drove him home in a regular seat belt, had no idea what to feed a baby, nowhere for him to sleep, no toys or clothes, diapers or medicine…
My friend told me this story and that she was working to help “M” get the things she needed to become a mom ASAP. I, being the emotional being I am, burst into tears and decided to see if I could get her some help as well.
I posted her story to my friends on facebook and made another post on Nextdoor to any and all neighbors I could reach.
The response was overwhelming and incredibly heartwarming.
Friends from other states offered to send money, clothing, anything they could come up with. Strangers called me offering to knit blankets, sweaters and hats.
People I haven’t spoken to, much less seen in years, showed up at my door with boxes of diapers, wipes, toys, formula and feeding supplies. People from miles away brought their used baby items to my door; a stroller, jumper, highchair, clothes for now and later, etc. Dear friends spent their own money to make sure he has a safe mattress to sleep on and enough baby food to get him through a few months at least.
This poor baby, who has the bravest aunt in the world, now has everything he could possibly need. Plenty of parents offered services for babysitting so that “M” could finish college and the amount of food and donations that have come in should get her through the next six months without her having to find a way to bring in more money to support a growing boy.
All these people; friends, strangers, neighbors, came together for a person they had never met, and honestly had no way of proving was real. They never once asked about her political or religious affiliation, they didn’t worry about her sexual orientation or social opinions.
All of these people, from different walks of life, came together to support a stranger and her new little one, no matter what.
This ability of people to focus on love rather hate, is something I had kind of forgotten people could do lately. The actions of all the people who came together for “M” warm my heart and have shown me that no matter people’s hateful comments on social media, America is still good; there are still people who simply want to help when they can, want to give to the needy and spread love no matter their political, religious, or social beliefs.
Actions speak so much louder than words.
In all honesty we should all be a little more quiet and spend a little more time acting like the amazing people we are.