Sunday, February 9, 2014

Angel the World

I am not by nature, ashamedly, a very compassionate guy.  More often than not, my thoughts are elsewhere, I’m looking at the bigger picture, and I’m not paying much detail to my surroundings.  Obviously, that’s not something to brag about, and it’s a personal shortcoming that I hope to one day overcome. 

But Angel the World was birthed in my heart about ten years ago.  I don’t remember the day exactly, but I certainly remember the moment.  It was a cold winter’s night… (sounds like the start of a scary story, doesn’t it).  I was sitting in my house one night and I was cold.  Now, I don’t know why I didn’t want to kick on the heater…. (maybe it wasn’t working right at the time, maybe I was trying to save money, I don’t know why), but I was a bit perturbed that I had to grab a blanket to get warm.  So, I sulkingly grabbed a blanket…  (Wrapping yourself in a blanket discourages you from moving again.  You’re warm, you’re comfortable, once you’re snug, you don’t want to move anymore) 

So, wrapped in a blanket, I walk over to the thermostat and note that it’s 67 degrees inside…  (Yes, I admit it, I get cold easily)  Looking at the temperature, wrapped in a blanket, and knowing I can just as easily turn on the heater, I realized something.  At that moment, as cold as I was, I realized that there were people at that very moment, that didn’t have the luxury of turning on the heater, that didn’t have the luxury of being inside, that didn’t even have a blanket to keep them warm.  Here I was in my home, with a blanket and a heater to turn on if I wanted to, and I’m complaining about the cold when there were so many people outside who didn’t even have a blanket!!!  What a jerk!

Of course, I am being a bit too hard on myself, but that moment brought me to a me mirror wherein I could see myself and my inaction in helping those around me.  So, I knew I had to do something.  Did I throw all my energy into helping others?  Alas, I did not.  I started slow.  My musician friends and I had just done a performance, and there was talk of doing that on a more regular basis, in essence, to form as a band.  The guys wanted to do it, but I sat down with them and said I had more interest in forming a band if it were used to help get people involved with helping the homeless.  They wholeheartedly agreed and for the next few years, every time we performed we had people bring clothes and food for the homeless.  It was great.  We collected so boxes and boxes of canned food, bags of sweaters and blankets, it was so amazing to see people willing to donate to help.  Those were some incredible years.

I had for years, however, a mentality about how I was going to help others.  I was going to get more financially secure, and then really start pouring in to help those in need.  Wrong thinking!  Because I have spent the last few years trying to get to that place where I feel I’m financially secure enough to start helping others.  I can no longer let the years slip by.  It’s time to act.  As I like to say, “it’s gotta be more than just words.”

That’s why Angel the World was created.  I brought up the idea to my colleague, Kimaya Seward, and my thoughts were on the broad scale, helping the homeless, feeding the hungry, etc.  It was Kimaya, though, that brought some great ideas to it.  She had been thinking about this for a while, probably a lot longer than I, and she suggested that we help those who had their cars repossessed, and those who couldn’t pay their storage costs and were about to have their possessions auctioned off to the highest bidder.  The ideas began flowing then, and we both understood that there are people all around us who are struggling.  It may be the single parent struggling to provide for the children.  It may be the elderly widow who no longer has her husband/handyman/landscaper/car repair man around anymore.  It may be the family who suddenly lost their relative and have no money to pay for funeral costs.  It may be a family that is drowning in so much debt that it’s choking the life from them.  With so many around us struggling, we knew we couldn’t wait any longer.

Angel the World is now moving.  Sure, we are starting slowly, but we needed to start, or else we’d never get moving.  Angel the World is about helping others, but almost as importantly, it’s to inspire others to help those in need.  The message is that all we all need to look around, and even the smallest action can make a big difference in another person’s life.  For me, Angel the World was created because I can no longer wait until I get a bigger blanket, a more efficient heater or a larger house, to help others.   I cannot and will not wait until I’m comfortable to help others.  Whatever needs I may have, I know there are others around me who are struggling just to survive. 

We can all make a difference in our environment.  We can all do our best to angel the world.  In time of need, an angel appears.
Click on the links to find out about Angel the World