This Thanksgiving holiday I am blessed to have my six-month old daughter. Victoria Ida was born earlier this year and has brought an indescribable joy into the lives of myself and my husband.
I am thankful for Victoria Ida and also for how she has made me appreciate things I had previously taken for granted.
What I understood before at a theoretical and intellectual level, I now understand at a visceral level.
This past Labor Day weekend I was in Chicago walking back to my hotel in the South Loop when I stopped in my tracks. A young girl, no older than eighteen, was sitting on the sidewalk with her baby about the age of my little one. In her hands the young girl had an empty container of Similac baby formula. Attached to the back of the canister was a little note asking for help so that she could buy formula to keep her baby fed. However, it was the look of despair on the girl’s face that spoke volumes.
Prior to having my own child I would have a felt compassion at the poverty my fellow human beings were enduring. But now that I am a mother, compassion does not begin to describe what I felt. I felt an empathy so deep that it physically shook and left an indelible image of the young girl and her child.
I like, many of us live in insulated worlds – going from home to work and back. Rarely do we tangibly see how those less fortunate than us live. But now when I do come across these harsh realities I experience them much more profoundly. In turn they have further strengthened my motivation to do my part in sharing the blessings my family and I have.