Tag Archives: Washington Post

How a Shooting Star Named Baby Sophia Bathed Us in Her Kindness

Recommended Reading Soundtrack:  Stand By Me by Otis Redding on Album Pain in my Heart 

Feeling grumpy, crotchety, stubborn or a bit sequestered today? Get ready, because that is about to change, I promise! In pondering the significance of kindness in my life, as blogger Erica has challenged our community this week, I am finding myself deeply grateful for this opportunity to talk about the beauty of the human spirit. It is a place in our hearts that always draws us together, even when we think those words are cliché or just a bunch of hooey!

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My mind stores up moments of kindness like a big jar of peanut M&Ms that teachers tempt kids with through a guessing game of how many are harbored within that glass. They are colorful, sweet and have the added bonus of not rotting our teeth. And I digress. Then I came across an awesome story on the Washington Post by Sarah Larimer and Casey Capachi titled “Today in uplifting internet news: Redditors help father who lost his infant daughter.” The story was like an envelope being opened on stage for Best Motion Picture at the Oscars and given the chance, I couldn’t help myself but open it. I didn’t even question opening it, as of course I have limited views on news stories here, seriously!

The story- a 26 year old father who recently lost his newborn named, Sophia. One of the few pictures he had of her with open eyes and alertness in tow was also full of her evident struggle to survive- hospital equipment. As the tears started pouring, my eyes and breath strained to read more of the story about a shooting star that flew across our sky for only a brief moment. He submitted this one picture to Reddit and asked if anyone could Photoshop out the tubes to create a memory that would survive for him and the mother.

“Since she was in the hospital her whole life we never were able to get a photo without all her tubes. Can someone remove the tubes from this photo?” Wrote the 26 year old father named Nathen Steffel

The father didn’t only receive a beautiful, single edited photo, he received thousands of messages and also some mailed presents containing drawings, even an embroidered blanket. This story is a beautiful representation of our capacity to love and how one request can be an opportunity for thousands of people to respond in kindness and appreciation for the preciousness of life and how it affects us.

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The people that responded saw these parents’ pain in their own experiences. They saw themselves and wanted to give comfort and love. Beautiful compassion for the human experience that we all endure every day of both living and passing away. And I leave this blog post with one thing- thank you, Sophia, for gracing our world with this beautiful opportunity to remember how fleeting and luminous our lives are. Your kindness will help me remember to not lose sight of what is important in this world, how we choose to live our lives and “pay it forward.”

At the end of one of my favorite films, Scrooged, Bill Murray’s character gave a speech that no matter what, always made me crave more. I would sit up at night, even in the summer, and replay this one scene just to see the son of his assistant who had stopped talking since witnessing his father’s death, to say one thing, “And God Bless Us Everyone.” If you have time today, check out this article and re-watch the scene in Scrooged (Click Here!). Remember, “If you give, then it can happen, then the miracle can happen to you.”

Let’s Rock Big Love!

Monthly Peace Challenge- A Vision of Peace to Behold

How can a photograph inspire a purposeful perception?  How can a photograph inspire a new vision of peace for our world?

In September of 2004 I had the privilege of experiencing an amazing day in our Nation’s Capital- Washington DC.  I grew up in northern Virginia, and at the time was working downtown at a higher education non-profit.  I was a year out from a divorce and my life was finally settling while living in the District.  This one particular morning DC was abuzz with a slowly unfolding plot.  The opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian was about to take place and the “Gathering of the Nations” was about to open up a door to peace and beauty on the post-summer Mall rarely experienced there amidst its normal chaos of traffic and partisan politics.

A magical day of festivities was planned.  As I walked down the street to my office that morning, you could feel it coursing through your body like adrenaline only it was pure joy.  My heart felt like it could leap from my body.  Like a window was about to open to a new manifest destiny as the Nations took DC by storm.  Representatives, families from the entire Nations’ tribes were gathering in their ceremonial dress on 14th street, passing me by with a pride they have always deserved.  The Washington Post had posted a picture of a sunrise ceremony and blessing that took place next to the museum and you could already see the sunlight rehearsing for a show that would move my soul later that evening.

The beginning of the magnificent sunset on the Mall the day the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian.
The beginning of the magnificent sunset on the Mall the day the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

An eclectic, free concert in the evening was planned featuring Lila Downs whose earthiness just exudes in the movement of her body and the sound of her voice.  As I walked down the Mall on the sunset’s cusp, I felt so grateful to be a part of this historic event.  As me and my friend waited for Lila Downs’ performance, the sky began to dance.  Soon it was like an explosion of light amplifying the energy of the day and illuminating life.  Every part of my being knew it was a result of this sacred energy that was brought to DC for this unique and uplifting occasion.

The 2nd stage of this magnificent sunset.
The 2nd stage of this magnificent sunset.

It was a peace that our own Nation’s Capital should strive for every moment- if not for themselves, but for the people of our country that have to endure the reality of our current economic plight every day.  In the Bloggers for Peace writing challenge this month we were supposed to write a letter, but really this is a short prayer and meditation on peace for not only the US and its government, but for all governments in our world.  I can only hope that the memory of this landmark event and the picture of its beauty prays in the earth of the DC Mall and emanates itself into the hearts of those visiting and those that live there.  A garden of tolerance and compassion is readying itself with a purpose.  In my heart I will continue to strive to project a vision of this peace to our world, slowly giving rise to perceptions that are rooted in awareness rather than ignorance.

What has this post inspired for you?  What new, purposeful perceptions about your present moment can you now use to create awareness in your life?  Please let me know!  I truly value your inspiration as we journey together.