I do some volunteer work for the Red Cross, delivering injury prevention training for newcomers to Canada. Yesterday, I spent a couple of hours delivering flyers house to house to advertise
an event we are putting on at a local community centre, which is located in a very troubled neighbourhood... houses and businesses boarded up, houses neglected and falling apart, yards full of junk and garbage, fences around everyone's yards with locks
on their gates, one sign in a window with pictures of guns saying "There's nothing in this house worth losing your life over!", and a girl sitting on a stoop, a bit beaten up and bloodied, crying and swearing and being consoled by a friend.
Just before finishing, I ran into a woman while walking down the sidewalk and let her know about the event
and handed her the flyer. She was obviously affected by a challenging life... a hemophiliac affected by hepatitis that got into the Canadian blood transfusion system... and a life (and brain) obviously affected by years of drug or alcohol abuse, including
being under some influence in that moment.
She wanted to talk, so I just allowed
her to, and I listened. I could see past her appearance and her jumbled words and her wandering focus to our common humanity, and how her innocent belief in her thinking was affecting her. At the same time I could see her joy and humour and wellbeing
and practical nature still bubbling to the surface, despite her circumstances and despite how her belief in her thinking was continually dragging her back down.
After about 10 minutes, the conversation ended and she reached out to hug me.
moments like these, in places like the worst neighbourhoods in my city, where love can be found despite what we see on the surface. And this is what continues to remind me of what the understanding of the Three Principles has done for me personally; being
able to see past the visible exterior to the deeper truth of life all around me; and is what inspires me for what hope there is for the world.