Monday, May 10, 2010

70th Week Update - Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Project

Hi Folks,

Empathy is the root of all good
Seven fifty a.m. came and went last Wednesday morning and no mention of Bobby’s Buddies on The Bobby Rich Morning Mix. I was surprised but figured Bobby had other pressing issues. After all, it was Cinco de Mayo.

About 11:30 a.m. my Outlook chimed to announce the arrival of an email from Bobby. He forgot and was pretty upset that he had.

“I forgot to do my segment today!

“Oh man that p*@#*es me off.

“I have TOO MANY THINGS to remember. :-(


My first reaction was to ease my friend’s displeasure with himself. I’ve been there and I knew exactly how he felt.

When you strive to be competent—which Bobby is all of the time—the tendency is to really beat yourself up when you screw things up.

Years ago when told the definition of sympathy, the definition of empathy soon followed. Until tonight, however, I never really looked up empathy but I discovered I had the definition of the word down pat. “…being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another…” This is the crux of the Merriam-Webster definition.

I feel empathetic a lot so when thinking about how to help Bobby like himself again, it didn’t take me long to do for Bobby what I would do for myself. In my reply to his email I tried to look at the big picture and make him part of that big picture which is exactly where he is.

“Hi Bobby,

“This is not a bad thing...this is a good thing. What happened to you is what happens to most folks and that is why community service is such an important lifestyle change.

“You can point to yourself as a fine example of why we need to teach ourselves that helping others is all that matters, not the meetings, not the planning, not the nights out, not the TV shows, not the good times. We must think about the children who go to bed hungry and the children who can't read and the folks without jobs. Our scheduled sympathy has to become full time empathy. Then when we take care of everyone we can have a huge 24/7 party.

“Please don't feel bad. Things happen and we must respond to those happenings with reason. Your listeners can relate to what happened to you and they will probably be moved to action when you ask them to act.

“This is a great teachable moment. I know because I had to teach myself what is important in this world, too.”

The next morning at 7:50 a.m. Bobby talked about his forgetfulness and how he and his listeners must concentrate on others and community service and cut back on all those thing that are really not important.

On my Sunday rounds a neighbor stopped me and said he heard Bobby on Thursday but knew Wednesday was Bobby’s Buddies day. It’s interesting, folks are paying attention to what Bobby does and he is making a difference…no matter what day of the week.

Nemi Finds A Home
Often the solution to a problem is right there in front of us but the tears often cloud our vision. When the nurse taking care of Erin’s mother recently learned that Nemi was up for adoption, he asked Erin if he could take her home to help care for his autistic son. Nemi would be a perfect fit. A lot of energized love for a boy who needs a lot of puppy kisses to come back from his far away places.

This is a sad story for Erin but a happy ending for a boy and his best friend who will grow up together living all kinds of wonder- filled adventures.

DKA Birthday Surprise
Since Dot and the folks at DKA couldn’t afford to give me a plasma screen TV for my birthday last week, they came up with a gift idea that proved to be even more exciting…a big box full of ribbon-decorated food. This is one of those gifts were the thought really counts.

Thanks, guys…I am very touched by the amount of food you gave me, and of course, your creativity.

More Than Your Average Basket
Even on Mother’s Day when families pay tribute for an entire day to their moms in appreciation for all that she does for them, our neighbors weren’t the least bit distracted from their commitment to care of the needy here in Tucson.

We collected 201 lbs of food (168 is our weekly average) which included 192 lbs of food, 8 lbs. of produce, 1 lb. of non food items and 28 lbs. from the AXIS Food Mart. In addition, we tallied $28 in cash.

See you Sunday,


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