“Now I’m the villain in your history...I should’ve known the world was wide enough for Hamilton and me.” ~Aaron Burr
“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier”. ~ Colin Powell
Hello Monitor readers,
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day celebrating gratefulness in your own way with friends, families, and/or with strangers. Although, we are in December, I’m still feeling November’s appreciation energy. I recall Saturday Night Live having an episode in November featuring Dionne Warrick singing “What The World Needs Now (Is Love).” Now, it seems that I keep hearing that beautiful sweet song. I also remember an excellent broadcast of a Veterans Day ceremony that was very inclusive and colorful in acknowledging and honoring all veterans; it was a meaningful and inspiring event.
However, it was General Colin Powell’s Farewell Service, “Honoring A Patriot” that struck a chord deep in my heart and set the tone for my November Gratitude Month that is stretching into my December Joyful Month. The Farewell Service had great speakers who knew and loved General Powell. However, his son, Michael’s loving and multi-layered expressions was compassionate, powerful, and penetrating. The son shared truth and wisdom about his dad. He also reminded folks that his dad’s story is our story, as well as it is the American Story. I felt Michael’s words were telling of my father’s story. I’m grateful that my dad was a Colin Powell-type of dad; and I have no doubt that General Powell strived to be like my dad and many other American dads, particularly, being a Black man living in Jim Crow America. Likewise, I strive to have and live the values and attributes of my father, the Rev. Robert Benjamin Giles, Sr.
This month I asked a Rondo resident and friend to share about her organization’s life-saving work. I’m happy that Katie accepted my invitation to share about a gift that we all can give and possibly might need some day.
In a season where we celebrate both gratitude and generosity, it is an honor to say something about donation and LifeSource in this issue of the Monitor.
So often when we think about donation, we think about recipients whose lives have been transformed and saved by donation and the incredible science and medicine of transplantation. This perspective is how I came to know this community, working in a local transplant center. Every day, I heard from patients waiting about what the gift of life would mean for them and their families. I had the unspeakable privilege of seeing many of these patients’ post-transplant with restored hope of graduating high school, seeing kids grow up, returning to work, giving back. While transplant is a treatment that requires diligent care for life, it truly is a second chance at life. Tissue and eye donation similarly restore mobility, sight, and the ability to participate in the most valued aspects of life.
Before lives are transformed by transplantation, donation is first a celebration of the power of generosity and community. A spotlight shines on generosity when people “check the box” to register as a donor when they renew their driver’s license or on an online registry. A spotlight illuminates generosity in the midst of tragedy, when families saying goodbye honor their loved ones’ spirit by saying yes to donation. Independent of saving and transforming lives, saying yes to donation is saying I choose generosity. I choose community.
This was very much the story with my dad. We knew we could count on a phone call every time our dad renewed his license. With predictable joy in his voice he would say, “Guess what I did at the DMV today? I checked the box!” I think dad would have been proud to be a tissue and eye donor at the time of his death several years ago, but that’s not what it was about for him. It was about living into generosity and community without knowing what the outcome would be.
Donation is rare. Because only a small portion of those who register will be able to donate, it truly takes a village of many to meet the needs of those waiting. Regardless of whether they ultimately donate, everyone who registers – everyone who says yes to generosity – is part of this incredible community.
LifeSource is the organization that manages all aspects of organ, eye and tissue donation. We support donor families, who inspire our work every day. We engage with communities and medical professionals about their role in the life-saving process of donation. We came to know Melvin through Mary’s generosity through donation, so emblematic of their generosity in so many forms throughout their lives. We celebrate Mary and Melvin’s legacy of generosity, as we express our gratitude for deep community.
The Monitor is a pillar of community – connecting ideas and people; taking a village approach to projects, advocacy, improvement; all while providing timely, relevant information about topics that are important. Our hope is that the expression of generosity through donation is one of those important topics that we can continue to engage in conversation. I would be so honored to connect with anyone who would like to have conversation about communities of generosity, to share how we can partner or do better, or simply to learn more about donation. Katie McGee, firstname.lastname@example.org
Be respectful stewards
I end with the same words I’ve been sharing all year: please be grateful and respectful to the stewards of Mother Earth and send a holiday note to our Governor and Lt. Governor to halt and stop operations of Pipeline 3. We have wiser and better productive ways of providing energy and employment for Minnesotans other than using outdated, destructive, and depleting methods for business practices and utilizing natural resources. The trees and plants, sun, wind, and rain and snow love to cheerfully nurture us freely for recreation, business, and for healing our minds, bodies, emotions, and souls.
Keep the positive vibrations flowing and stay optimistic!!!!
May Peace Be In the Rondo, Frogtown, Hamline/Midway, Como, & Surrounding Communities...
May Peace Be In Our Homes & Communities…
May Peace Prevail On Earth (MPPOE)!!!!
BE SMART! DO YOUR PART! Get Your Vaccination Shots and Booster Shots if you feel comfortable doing so!!!
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