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A Little Hope: Pay It Forward

Shannon is a passionate individual whose feelings and thoughts tend spill onto the pages, often in the form of poetry and sometimes essays.


Melancholy and Inspiration

Have you ever felt melancholy for seemingly no reason whatsoever? It hit me hard this evening out of the blue. I went from a rather productive day to watching The Same Kind of Different as Me all alone. Unless you count the big German Shepherd snuggled on the couch beside me. She tried to shove me off the couch so she could spread out, but it wasn’t a lack of sympathy from the dog that put me in such a strange mood.

The Same Kind of Different as Me is a true story about a married couple named Ron and Debbie Hall. Thanks to a dream Debbie had, they befriended homeless man Denver Moore, who didn’t even know he wanted friends. Denver's dark past left him filled with a lot of anger that kept him detached from others. Ron and Debbie saw beyond that in order to get to know his kind heart. In turn, he had to learn how to trust the couple enough to let them be his friends. It’s an inspiring story about what love can do to change a person’s entire existence for the better. However, it also becomes a sad story when tragedy strikes, claiming the life of one of the most kind-hearted souls ever to walk this earth. Nonetheless, hope remains as the two men go on to use their story for the greater good, raising money to support organizations that help homeless individuals. Their story and their effort impacted an entire city before spreading nationwide.

I suppose it would be easy for anyone to fall into a similar mood after watching a movie such as this, but my mood is one that is hard to explain. It is more pensive and bittersweet. This movie made me contemplate all of the reasons I believe so strongly in forgiveness, reconciliation, and second chances. Also, it made me think about personal friendships from both the past and the present. Some of them didn’t last because life simply took us on different paths and some that ended in spectacular flames. Yet I know that I am not alone in these sentiments. A lifelong friend I’ve known since at least kindergarten years posted a status message on Facebook that I immediately connected with. Perhaps it’s just a universal truth about love and loss.

Quote From My Friend Used with Permission. . .

“I was thinking this morning about how in at least a couple cases I grieved the loss of friendships for ever so much longer than they even existed in the first place.

I mean, grief does what it wants to do, and you can't rush it, but I'm glad that in most of those cases, I've processed what I need to process and learned what I could.

And then, suddenly it occurred to me this morning that I have long term friends just even in Seattle that have lasted longer than those relationships and the grieving of them, and I still think of them as "new friends"

You're all old friends now! And good friends! But mostly, you're all old friends! Who knew?"

See the Best

My intention is not to drag anyone down. Instead, I’d like to remind everyone that there’s always a bright side. Together, Ron and Denver accomplished unimaginable things. Perhaps we should strive to see the best in those around us. Who knows what unlikely and miraculous things will be accomplished. The world can be made that much better, if only for a little while.

Perhaps This Obituary Says It Best

What love can do. . .

“The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor. But that does not lessen our possible impact, for there are scores of people waiting for someone just like us to come along; people who will appreciate our compassion, our unique talents. Someone who will live a happier life merely because we took the time to share what we had to give. Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It’s overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.”

― Leo Buscaglia


© 2019 Shannon Henry