Friday, September 09, 2005

Living Strong

As I go through these hot September days with business dealings and so many other weekly "to-do's" that seem normal through this crazy journey called life, I’m left feeling very anxious about sponsoring a women in the Congo of Africa and having enough money to give to a neighbor in need. The terrible tragedy along the Gulf Coast – many of the towns and historical sites I traveled through as a young child and teenager – has nearly broken my heart. What to do - what can I do? I have no extra funds to give during my start-up months of TexaCali Wine Co. Man, I woke up this morning and was immediately called to help. I spent the morning with Henley (my 8 yr old black lab) visiting homeless kids and old folks here in the Dallas area – I was overwhelmed by all the kindness I saw from folks living in Texas. It really drove my thoughts throughout the rest of the day...

Since last week I’ve received dozens of emails from restaurants, friends and acquaintances promoting a way to give back – well, God bless everyone who has, it’s so amazing to see so many generous and unselfish families and businesses in Texas putting those who are less fortunate first. God I wish I could give more.

I struggle with my own financial needs vs. so many people not only in America but throughout the world who need support from people like me who have the opportunity, freedom and God given ability to pay the bills and create commerce. I feel blessed to have a strong streak of “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” in my soul. Some days I don’t even feel like smiling, but I know I owe it to my “blessing” to keep on keepin’ on, to wake up each morning and make the most of each day. Living Strong.

I’m left with an image each night as I struggle to sleep in my own comfortable bed, many of the people rescued and waiting for our help in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast areas and Texas shelters are wearing the yellow bands around their scrawny wrists for Lance Armstrong’s “Live Strong organization. Many of these fellow Americans who are now homeless gave to a charitable cause before the disaster – with conviction. My hope is that they continue to wear these bracelets as a reminder, that they too are living strong. These yellow bands now serve 2 purposes for thousands.

Whether helping a woman and her children in a hideous African war or just showing up at a shelter to listen to a lonely grandfather - I urge each of us to take time out of our normal weekly to-do's and help those who are not so lucky in life. We should thank each one of them for their inspiration to us - staying strong and living stronger for those less fortunate during this horrific U.S. disaster and world wars going on all over our planet Earth. -Ali

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