We’re each equipped differently to handle what comes our way



October 4, 2019 - 5:29 PM

Life changes on a dime. One minute everything is looking up; all the cogs are turning; everyone is healthy and happy. Life is good. In a moment, that can all change. Someone becomes ill; someone dies; a job is lost; a factory closes down; the house catches on fire; the car breaks down; or floodwaters rise. Our world spins all topsy-turvy. The way things were suddenly seems like a dream as our present reality becomes a nightmare.

Some people can be caught off-guard by a life-altering incident, but they have the ability to see past the event and understand that, while life may not be the same as it once was, it will be good again. We plod along through the mire and muck until we can see a bright spot to focus on. Things get better and we move on. 

For others, it seems like one bad thing leads to another, and then another, and so on. It’s almost like nothing good is ever going to happen. When something good does happen, it’s so random and fleeting that it doesn’t even seem real.

There is this saying that some people are born “getting it.” They understand how the world works. Then there are those who can be “taught it.” If you teach them how things work and show them and guide them a little, they get it. And then there are those who never “get it.”


AT HUMANITY HOUSE we see all three kinds  of people. 

We help those who have a momentary setback. A layoff at the factory, an illness or injury has thrown them into a tailspin. Once they get their bearings and whatever help we have to offer them, we don’t see them again except in passing or if they stop in to say hi. 

Then we see the flip side of that. We see people who have a circumstance totally beyond their control that will take everything from them. One factory layoff leads to missed car payments, unpaid utilities, unpaid rent, their phone is shut off, and they have no food. This is usually the time when someone in the family becomes ill or gets hurt. If it weren’t so horribly frustrating it would be comical.

We also have the middle group. They come in and have been fired from a job, had a car repossessed, got evicted, moved in with relatives and got kicked out of there, or myriad other things that are basically throwing a monkey wrench into their world. As first, as with lots of us, the blame goes out to everyone else involved. The boss, car dealer, landlord, banker, and even Uncle Joe, are all jerks. But as we talk to them about where they are and how they got there and they start to understand and accept the role that they played in this jumbled mess, we can see them see the bright spot. And they have “learned it.”

Because it really is about taking responsibility.

Not just for your actions, words, and in all that you do. But in honoring the responsibility that we have to help those who don’t get it, to help teach those who can be taught to get it, and to cheer on all three groups as they make their way through this life. 

Kindness matters.