Thursday, May 1, 2008

Not Minding our Own Business

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." - Anne Frank

My Tri to End Homelessness teammate extraordinaire and sister Rachel shared a funny story earlier this week that has me thinking about what is and is not our business - and how, when, and why we choose to get involved.
As longtime readers know Ray is in the first year of a very intense doctoral program and has taken this year off from racing. After an incredibly busy couple of months, capped by two weeks of stressful exams, Ray has this week off and has been enjoying returning to long runs in the woods with her dog, Laurel.
At the end of Tuesday's run, a fellow runner (and a stranger to Ray) and her dog flag Ray & Laurel down from across the street, insist that Ray remove her headphones, and proceed to tell Ray that she needs to slow down, because it seems that Laurel is not quite keeping up.
Uh, o.k.......
Now, I support ethical treatment for animals just as much as the next gal, but PUH-LEEEESE, Lady.
Or as my exact email reply to Ray read:
Are you freaking kidding me!!!!??? I mean, we're at war, we have a major election coming up, recession is upon us, and kids in schools need mentors. There are plenty of ways for this woman to get involved in her community -- without inserting herself directly into your life without invitation!

Now, I realize that this woman was probably just trying to do her part - as she defines it - to make our community a better place, but I'd like to offer a few additional suggestions for how she and all of us can truly mind our neighbors' business and get involved:
  • Do SOMETHING to end homelessness - -for people or animals. How about supporting the work that Genesis Home is doing everyday to end homelessness for families with kids and kids leaving foster care?
  • Go Vote - and get others to.
  • Volunteer for an organization with a mission that speaks to you.
  • Write a letter to the editor.
  • Protest.
  • Train for triathlons and raise money for the issue you believe in most.

Any of these will do...but, please, let my sister run in peace.