When I started writing these columns, I acknowledged that I would have to be willing to share personal information with all of you. As some of you may recall (and I cannot forget no matter how hard I try), I ran the first WOW road race in May 2011 dressed as Wonder Woman. Here is my confession, which may not come as a surprise- it terrified me. It terrified me like big exams, public speaking, and heights terrify people. I joked about it and kept trying to talk myself into it not being a big deal but the moment I laid eyes on the costume, I thought I was going to pass out. I honestly don’t remember much about that race except the internal mantra I was repeating to myself “Eyes up, almost done. Eyes up, almost done”.
I share this with you because we all have fears. We all have things that terrify us. Sometimes we are lucky in that we can avoid our fears and never really face them. Sometimes, we are even luckier and we are forced to overcome them. Although that day still hits the top three all-time terrifying moments in my life (accompanying the thought of childbirth and passing the bar exam) it also gave me the chance to embrace my Wonder Woman. Because of that day, road races no longer intimidate me in the slightest and the bar on public embarrassment was exponentially raised (please don’t take that as a challenge!)
What does any of this have to do with spreading kindness? Simple. Some of you may fear trying to do something nice…maybe it is because you are afraid that you will become over-committed or maybe because you are afraid of feeling guilty when you encounter someone less fortunate. Perhaps you are afraid that you will get “sucked in” to something and not be able to keep a healthy distance. Please hear me when I tell you- it is ok to feel all of the above and then some, and still try it anyway. Attempting one small act of kindness is so much more fulfilling then wondering what you can do that still allows you to avoid your fear. I have said in the past that the words “Let me know what I can do to help” are sometimes words without true value. The person who speaks those words and then take the extra step of looking to see what can be done- that person is Wonder Woman-and she is in each and every one of you if you just allow her to see (feel free to substitute you inner superhero’s name in all Wonder Woman references!).
Last month, I shared a little bit with you about my faith and its importance in my life and my family’s life. Since then, there was an act of vandalism targeting that faith. If I practice what I preach, it is not enough to just wonder what I can do and it is in the context that I invite you all to attend the Unity Rally with me on Sunday, April 7th at 1:15 at the Town Common. Whatever your faith, I think this is an opportunity for us all to show our strength and trust that good prevails. As Edmund Burke is sometimes quoted as saying: In order for evil to flourish, all that is required is for good men to do nothing.
And, who is better to fight the forces of evil then all of you superheroes out there!
As Christopher Reeve said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”