Life is full of surprises. This morning, while working on this blog, I received a phone call from Gail, a board member at our local cat shelter. She was checking to see if Michael and I would, once again, sponsor a fundraising event in November. Gail left a voicemail message and after listening to it, I made a note to have my assistant return the call on Monday.
I’ve never met Gail but I’ve been thinking about the cat shelter – Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society – a lot lately. It’s where we adopted our boy, Poupon, and it’s an organization that Michael and I have enjoyed supporting over the years.
It’ll be the place we turn to when we’re ready to be rescued again by our next furry friend.
At this point in our lives, Michael and I have been discussing new ways to give back. Because I’m passionate about animals and nature, I’ve been thinking about how I might expand my work in those areas, too.
Sitting on my sofa, having just listened to Gail’s message, I suddenly realized that Life might have presented me with an open door, so I picked up the phone and called Gail. Within minutes I was talking with a kindred spirit, a woman with a wealth of knowledge about how to translate a passion for animals into good work in the world.
After more than an hour on the phone sharing our adoption stories, the pain of losing a pet, and our love of wildlife and nature, I hung up feeling grateful, but also curious about why I hadn’t thought to call back right away.
Personally, I tend to keep to myself and can be somewhat reticent about getting involved in community affairs. And honestly, I’ve also cultivated a certain level of cynicism over the years – a tendency to second-guess motives. While my head can make a great argument for keeping to myself, I’m learning that my cynicism is just a form of protection. It keeps me planted in safe and familiar territory.
But cynicism also robs me of what I want most – a feeling of aliveness, a deeper connection with like-minded people, and the chance to work in creative collaboration with those who make a difference.
You may have been rejected. Or failed at something. Or cultivated your own level of cynicism about people. We all have in some way, I suspect. But it’s what keeps us separate and at odds with one another. And it keeps us afraid.
Today, I’m grateful for the evidence that Life is working in my favor. And I have no doubt that Life is working in your favor, too. Be on alert for your own open doors. And when you see one, pick up the phone .
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