This I Believe

Lori - Santa Fe, New Mexico
Entered on October 19, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
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A friend of mine recently told me when I was in a state of utter frustration and discontent about current events, “Lori, the minute you give up, they win.”

When I was a little girl my Mom died leaving me at the age of eight with just my Dad and me. I remember my Dad asking me everyday, “Lori, What are the two most important words?” “I care” I would respond. I remember rolling my eyes and just saying the response without much thought. But many years later I realize how right he was. I care deeply and it is the foundation of who I am today.

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of taking a nice long walk in the neighborhood in which I live. I was towards the end of my fifth mile when a beautiful dog came up to greet me. She appeared suddenly and out of nowhere and then just as suddenly, she disappeared. A few minutes later I heard a car honking and a passerby told me that a dog was running down the middle of the road and surely would be hit. Within ten minutes I was able to locate the dog and found that she had no identification. “What am I going to do now?” I thought to myself. I decided to make a leash for her using my shoelaces and walking like a hunchback (because she was small to the ground) I walked the final mile back to my house. I took her picture and posted signs. I called my local shelter and fortunately the next day was able to locate her owners. Upon relinquishing her, I made the owners agree to make sure they got her a tag right away. I wonder, would I have behaved differently if “I care” wasn’t so ingrained in me?

Sometimes I don’t want to be compassionate, I don’t want to yield to the other driver trying to merge because I was there first or I am in a hurry, but more often then not, that voice kicks in, “Lori, what are the two most important words?”

And so, my friend who told me to never give up and my Dad were both right. At the end of the day I feel like so much more a participant in this wonderful journey called life when I reach out to make a kind difference in word or deed, even if it is just yielding to the other driver. You see, I really do care.