Monday, January 23, 2017

A box of tissue

One morning when my son woke up, he had the beginnings of a cold. He had one simple request.

"Mom, tonight, would you please bring home a box of tissue? A box just for me?"

It seems like a really small request, doesn't it? And something that yes, I can very easily do on my way home from work. 

It might seem silly, but the thought crossed my mind that even as a simple request, it is a sign of how blessed our family is. Yes, we are blessed to be able to bring home a box of tissues. When I tuck him into bed with his tissues there next to him, I know that while he may feel icky with his cold, he'll still feel safe and secure. He won't be worried about if he'll have tissues tomorrow, because he knows he will.  

I hope that as he grows, he really understands how important that box of tissues is. There are so many children going to bed tonight - some tucked in gently and others tucking themselves in - who will fall asleep unsure of what tomorrow will bring. They'll worry if they'll have the basic necessities to make it through the day. Instead of sweet dreams, concern will fill their mind. Will they have food for their lunchbox or perhaps be embarrassed at school because their lunch account is empty? Will their clothes be clean? Will anyone notice they wore that shirt twice already this week? Will someone make fun of them carrying their books to school in their hands because they can't afford a backpack? 

There are many issues to address in today's world. As we watch the media and Facebook and the many other avenues of communication fill our lives with what's happening across the country and the globe, I hope that in 2017, we can all make an effort to add one more task onto our lists: creating a better community in which to live. 

Let's start small. 

Let's pick up one extra box of tissues to donate to a local women's and children's shelter so when a child has a stuffy nose, mom can provide him that small comfort that she might not be able to, because she's already deciding whether to use her last $20 to buy food or new shoes for school.

Let's buy a few extra cans of soup or vegetables and drop them off to the local food pantry. It doesn't seem like much, but it means a little something extra in someone's stomach for the night.

Let's clip the coupon for the diapers out of the Sunday paper and pick up a pack for a local shelter. Then maybe a mom can pick up a clean blouse for an interview instead of passing over an interview that would help her better care for her family because she has nothing nice to wear.

We don't have to save the world in one day (although that would be nice). What we can do is start small, start at home, and teach our children how to care about the others in the city they live in. Then maybe someday, tissues won't be considered a luxury.

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