This Is Why I Give. What About You?
Lucy Bernholz

I Give Because We Are One

From childhood I have been told that I am special, a unique human that has never, and will never, exist again. My parents, in saying this, hoped to install a sense of purpose and excitement in me (which I think worked.) When uniqueness is emphasized without a complimentary discussion on similarities, however, parents inadvertently place priority on the differences and miss the power and necessity of embracing and celebrating what makes us one species.

I have yet to meet another Orrin, but in the process of looking for him I have found that there are many more commonalities between us than there are individualisms that separate us. The smile on my face upon seeing a beautiful day has played out across generations and continents, the longing of distance has been felt in lover’s hearts from time immemorial, and the warmth of acceptance and love we feel throughout our lives is a theme across the globe. In this hectic and crazy world, sometimes all we need to do is slow down and search for the common heartbeat that powers every one of the 7 billion humans on this earth. We may come from afar and feel isolated and alone, but in truth family surrounds us wherever we are.

By giving I am restoring and strengthening those connections, helping to no longer see the overly simplified stock image of homeless veterans, orphans, or any community in need. Sharing in the stories of the people and communities I invest my love and hope in has allowed me to become more empathetic to all, and goes a short way in restoring dignitary and power to someone who shares 99.9% of who I am. I give because I too have felt love, hope, sadness, pain, joy and heartbreak.

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