by Bernie Furshpan
I recently attended a memorial and funeral for a very dear friend, a gentleman, the likes that is rarely seen. He was truly an angel planted here and affected thousands of lives in such inordinate ways. In his efforts to create a successful professional career and a loving and supportive environment for his wife and children, he found time to look back and give back to his fellow humankind — and in a big way. He not only adopted a child, he mentored hundreds of young, underprivileged students and made them his own. At the funeral, some of his mentored individuals, now adults, stood over his casket and grieved as if they lost a close family member. I was so moved by the genuine pain, sobbing and tears they shed, that I came to realize how far reaching his arms were and how warmly they surrounded those kids.
It is inherent within all of us to nurture and care for our own, to wrap our arms around our immediate family and close friends. What does it take to expand our circle of love? I found that it requires a reconfiguration of my own perspective of others and to see others in a different light. Typically, it is natural to be launched into a more global perspective at a time of war. Think about the days following the catastrophic terrorist attack on 9/11. So much outpouring of love surrounded the physical and emotional ground zero of the event. I personally witnessed first hand the efforts contributed by police and firefighters from every corner of this great nation. As a chiropractor I saw this while working a few night shifts at the little church that stood in Ground Zero which housed medical practitioners who provided free health care to those that broke their backs for New Yorkers. The hugs. The warmth. The love. Over time, those circles contracted and once again, we all went back to our daily grind, thinking of our immediate relationships only.
Perhaps, the wisdom we learn in time, is that in the end, we are truly all one big family. How extraordinary is it that there are people who don’t need the trigger of war to give joyously to their ever-expanding circle of love and support. They contribute in how they can and see fit, making other lives more bearable, especially to the lonely, infirm, destitute, and disabled. I’ve given much thought about this topic myself and reconfiguring my own circle so that I can look back further and reach back past my immediate circle of family and friends. I sense a bigger purpose when thinking of sharing my time and energy to those who truly need the love and support that all humans, and living creatures, on this great planet need. Is your circle expanding?
#9 in the Series