Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Meditation on Simple Things

I'm simply delighted to help Chris at Enchanted Oaks with her Haitian relief fund. Her family has pledged a $2 donation for each person who participates, with a list, a poem, a prose piece or a comment on her blog about the joy of simple things, to Heartline Ministries for their medical clinic and other programs in Haiti. 100% of all earthquake related funds received will be spent in Haiti on recovery and rebuilding. All state side expenses will be performed by various individuals free of charge. That is hard to beat! You can make your post up until midnight, Sunday, February 7.

So, today, Super Bowl Sunday in the United States, I'm thinking about the simple enjoyment an entire country gets out of this game played by a bunch of sweaty guys tossing and kicking a football, jumping on and smashing each other into the ground until their pants are stained with a green grass juice that is nearly impossible to get out. Is it wrong that I'm more concerned with all that dirty laundry than I am with yards gained and lost?

People are gathering together for celebrations and parties that rival Thanksgiving and Christmas. Come on people, have you been to the stores in the last couple of days? The parking lots are packed. I couldn't even get near Costco yesterday. Carts are stuffed and overflowing with chips and cases of soda and beer. In fact, the total weight gain from Super Bowl Sunday will surpass that of Thanksgiving and Christmas combined. According to Media Life Magazine, while watching last year's Super Bowl Americans consumed 14,500 tons of chips and 8 million pounds of guacamole. Not to mention a 20 percent increase in antacid sales.

In stark contrast, millions of Haitians are gathered together in their fight for survival. I wonder how many televisions are on and broadcasting in Haiti? What if all those cases of pop and beer were water? How far would all those tons of food go in sustaining a starving population?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. Quite the contrary. I think that the Super Bowl serves as a reminder that it is good take the time to truly enjoy the simple things in life while we can. We never know, thankfully, when disaster is drawing our number out of the hat. I also see the New Orleans Saints, being in a position to win the championship, as harbingers of good fortune. Having risen out of the devastation inflicted by hurricane Katrina in 2005, nearly five years later, the team is a symbol of hope and pride, not only to their city but, to the rest of the world.

Now, I have to admit I am not a football fan and probably won't even watch the game, but I am a fan of the indomitable human spirit. Win or lose, the Saints have traveled back up that long, lonely road of adversity.

Go Saints.


11 p.m. Pacific Time: I just read Chris's statement that there were more than a hundred posts/comments about Simple Things which means the goal of a $200 donation was met. Even more exciting, an anonymous donor matched that amount! Way to go bloggers!


Felicitas said...

Sometimes it really is hard to justify enjoying ourselves when we know others are suffering... but, really, what's the alternative?

I absolutely think we need to do what we can to help, but at the same time not get so caught up in all the darkness that we neglect to honour the gift of our own life and journey. Finding joy is not wrong. It's very necessary.

Felicitas said...

P.S. I LOVE your post. You hit the nail on the head!

Enchanted Oak said...

Dear Ronda, your thoughtful post may just be the most unusual and interesting musing I've read today. I've read so many wonderful, simple, gratitude lists, a couple of poems, maybe a guy here and there, but mostly women who honor their family and friends. I like this essay very much. It's a breath of tangy salt air. I like the way you think! We're at 94 posts right now. We're going to make a $200 donation to Heartline clinic in Haiti! Hurray for people like you.
Chris at Enchanted Oak

Ronda Laveen said...

Felicitas: Yes, finding our joy in whatever way we can and owning it is the heart of the matter isn't it? It is what allows us, in my opinion, to go the extra distance in helping others when they are down. Thanks for visiting the Wonderland.

Chris: You have a very strong family with a charitable heart. I am very pleased to help you meet your goal. Your family project has sparked our little blogging community, a coulpe of dollars at a time, to help others less fortunate. I salute you all!

RNSANE said...

I applaud your wonderful post. I
wonder how much Costo and Sam's and the supermarkets might have collect today and yesterday at the checkout line with a message related to Haiti and the Superbowl...probably a hefty sum. Since I went to nursing school at Charity 45 years ago, I am rooting for the Saints...when I was in school, the Superdome didn't even exist!

I've been in San Francisco 33 years..too bad Redding is so far. I need a massage.

Ronda Laveen said...

RNSANE: You make a strong point. I would be curios to know if those business have been involved in relief efforts.

SF isn't all that far away...just a few hours. I work on a LOT of nurses. You guys need all the TLC you can get!

TechnoBabe said...

Hey Sweet Ronda, You did yourself proud with this post! Very gracious acknowledgment of the Super Bowl which you are not wetting your pants over like three fourths of the country, and the loving reminder of the needs of the people in Haiti who are still in the recovery mode and Katrina's devastation which is still in rebuilding mode. Wonderful!!

Ronda Laveen said...

TechnoBabe: Thanks! I never did like wet panties. Ick! Maybe everyone else is wearing Depends. Glad you enjoyed the post. I enjoyed writing this one a lot.

Baino said...

Such a dichotomy between rich and poor. I heard recently that the social networking sites, including Blogger, Facebook, Myspace etc. have raised more funds collectively than any other organisation. The power of one coming together with others really can make a difference.

Dave King said...

Good point well made and taken to heart - even if I have never been to the Super Bowl!

Hootin' Anni said...

An anonymous donor matched the amount?!!!! How awesome is that?!!!!

I participated and felt good that tho I wasn't one to make a monetary donation, I thought it was all so wonderful.

Thanks for stopping by my blog Saturday and leaving such a sweet, sweet comment.

Have a great week ahead.

Mrsupole said...

Hi Ronda,

What a great way to talk about simple things and how just changing one thing can change so much for others.

I watched the 4th quarter with oldest grandson and would have glady had the Colts win, but then read your story and am glad the Saints won. I guess when you are not really on a side that any side winning is a win for you.

But I think that with our help the people in Haiti were helped to win something.

God bless.

Dorraine said...

It is amazing when the human spirit is involved what we can accomplish! I'm always humbled to see how we pull together in this country when needed. Great post as usual, Ronda.

JGH said...

Yes, why can't some of this extreme Superbowl excess be diverted to Haiti in some way?! That is shocking about the weight gain being more than Thanksgiving. Hopefully Haiti will rise again, the way New Orleans has. That's one city that deserves a good celebration!

Our simple pleasure yesterday was watching the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet. The hamster scorekeepers, bunny cheerleaders and kitty halftime show were hysterical. I missed The Who - oh well.

Brian Miller said...

ronda...for some reason you did not come up in my reader...puzzling. great is important we take the time to enjoy th simple things and it makes them all the sweeter to remember those that can not. great stuff!

Nessa said...

This was such a wonderful idea. I'm not much into football but I am glad The Saints won. New Orleans could use the boost.


Anonymous said...

I know nothing about the super bowl but totally agree with you!

Merisi said...

It is so good to hear that there are so many good and generous people out there! Thank you for spreading the word.

DUTA said...

With the big sport games , it's not only that people consume a lot of food and beverages in front of the TV while watching the games. There are also sometimes tragic cases of death during or after the game. Because of excitement and/ or food, some people collapse and die.

Moderation should be the key word. It's only sport, not a matter of life and death like in Haiti.

otin said...

I love the results in the update.

Hard to find that balance sometimes, Ronda. I think that overall, the US people are pretty generous.

Ronda Laveen said...

Baino: Thank you for the input about the networking platforms making the largest contribution of any organization. That makes me feel good that we can pull together so quickly.

Dave: Does your country have something equivalent to the Super Bowl?

Hootin' Annie: Yes, an anonymous donor matched the contribution. Cool, yes indeed!

Sherry: I turned the TV on just in time to see the winning touchdown. Thanks for letting me know about this project.

Dorraoine: Hey, you're up and ruinning again! Yes, the human spirit is so amazing and we can really get it together when we want.

JGH: The weight gain was bigger than Christmas and Thanksgiving combined. I watched the Puppy Bowl too!

Brian: Blogger is glitchy like that. Yes, there is a lot to be said for enjoying the moment.

Nessa: Now that the Saints' have won, they are even a bigger symbol for renewal.

Dark: Hi!

Eternally Distracted: thanks.

Merisi:Bloggers are the greatest aren't they?

DUTA: You make a great point about moderation and all the deaths that occur after the game due to overindulgence.

Ronda Laveen said...

Otin: I agree, there was a great turn out with great results. Balance, yes! That is the key.

rel said...

A well told tale lady and a lesson to boot. Take heart... set and seek goals. Well done!