Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Families provide strength and support

A man donates some money to a charity, as a way of expressing his gratitude for the support his place of employment provided to him and his family, while his wife battled terminal cancer. It may sound complicated but the simplicity of this gesture is truly inspiring.

Earlier today, I had the privilege of addressing some of the colleagues and other people at this particular place of employment. The man - whom I have met previously -was there too. My role was to simply say thanks: thanks to him, for the donation; thanks to those he worked with, for the support they provided; and thanks, on behalf of those who will benefit from such generosity.

In expressing my thanks, I drew on the imagery of family. The place of employment was one family; the husband, wife and son they supported was another; and the people who will benefit from the support were all part of the global family. It's a powerful notion because, like any family, when one person is suffering, all members suffer. When someone is sick, or hungry, or impoverished, or persecuted, we all have to deal with it and carry the load.

But that's the strength of families isn't it? When one is up, others are there to share the joy. When someone is down, others are there to lend support and concern. Whether we are brothers or sisters, parents or children, our strength lies in our unity and being in relationship with one another. As Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's once said: "None of us is as good as all of us."

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