John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

A Little Update on My Friends

As of yesterday, we had received gifts from 12 different families in the total amount of $1,040. Some folks have said that they would send checks, so I'm still waiting on some of that to come in. I want you to know that every dime of this money is going to this family. That seems important to me to assure you of that. Some of it will cover this month's rent. The rest will go for groceries and possibly some Christmas gifts.

I did receive one email from someone who is really hurting right now. The email was filled with the kind of bitterness and anger that come only from feeling trapped and alone and scared. It was from a man whose family faces thousands of dollars in medical expenses. He said he's tired of seeing all these websites that are set up to help families in need because no one ever set up a website to help his family. They're just having to tough it out and go it alone. They'll probably have to file for bankruptcy. It won't be much of a Christmas for them.

I didn't post his email as a comment for a number of reasons. Mostly I wonder if the person who wrote it might look back on it in a couple of years and be embarrassed. Painful circumstances often make us extremely self-centered. It can become difficult or impossible to celebrate with others. We just want everyone to weep with us.

And yet...perhaps there are some lessons we can learn from his message. I am so incredibly grateful for this community who has proven willing to rally around a family you've never even met. I bet there's a family just like them in your own backyard. There are people everywhere right now who are hurting and feel alone and afraid.

How can we get better at noticing the people all around us who need our help?

Oh, and the thing that really stuck out to me from this man's email was that he really did sound like it was him against the world. I started to wonder if he goes to church or has a group of friends who support him -- emotionally if not financially. I honestly don't know how people get through life without that kind of support. It made me grateful for the friends I have -- in different parts of the country.

Dane. Hal. David. Jerry. Phil. Tim. Josh. Rick. Steven. Kevin. Andy. Damon. James. Scott. Wade. Ken. John. Nick. Michael. Jay. Pete. Jeff. Derrell. I'm leaving people out I'm sure. This is all just off the top of my head here. Danita. Denise. Jenny. Kelli. Madeleine. Connie. Janna. Shanna. Dawn. Christy. Jenn. Julie. Lynne. Lisa.

I am so incredibly grateful for each and every one of you -- for your generosity and your kindness.

And it makes me realize again just how important it is to create places where people can connect with each other, do life with each other, share their hopes and fears, bear each other's burdens.

How about today we list the people for whom we're most grateful? My list above is pretty big because I was making a point of it. Yours doesn't have to be long, but who are some folks you're really, really glad to know and be doing life with these days?