Pep Talk: “Three Options”

September 4, 2017

Those following these weekly ramblings with regularity know your knucklehead scribe is immersed to the eyeballs in an outreach program trying to unite communities with wellness.
A Stronger Cord enters its fourth year trying to accomplish that important task. I know because Facebook keeps reminding me of moments from “three years ago.” A good argument could be made, given the nation’s tumultuous state, we urgently need fresh ideas concerning building a stronger cord to one another. Why not wellness? Why not encourage others to embrace the value, individually and collectively, in becoming more fit, connected and giving? Healthier in body, mind and spirt? Win. Win. Win.

It’s a simple concept. It just ain’t easy.
Without question, the societal issues are complex. Could it be that progress in successfully addressing challenges of, to name only three, racial strife, dysfunctional families and an addiction epidemic, might have simple solutions? Maybe three options are embracing a spirit of fitness, relationship building and community service? Keep it simple stupid. Three decades after earning a master’s degree in journalism from the best darn J-school ever, Mizzou, it has stuck like glue. Too often, we overcomplicate matters.

Denver Dream Center and Bessie’s Hope sure keep it simple. It’s why ASC’s Knuckleheads, through “Service Saturdays,” love working with each. We keep it real simple. Denver, all of America, has too many marginalized and disconnected kids, moms and elders. I’m a big fan of a Jewish carpenter who encouraged us to “Care for the orphans, widows and strangers.” Well, just one dude’s opinion, but the kids and moms living in public housing and the elderly dwelling in assisted living are the modern-day orphans, widows and strangers.
As a society, we need to care for them. We’re losing too many beautiful and talented kids to the gangs. We need to give the gangs competition for kids’ attention! Our nation’s elderly? My goodness, far too many rarely have visitors.
Denver Dream Center with its “Show up, smile and serve” spirit simplifies engaging the marginalized living in Denver’s public-housing communities. Volunteers have a blast playing games with the kids and assisting moms however possible. Show up, smile and serve. Simple, loving and effective.

Inspired, more than 20 years ago, by visiting her grandmother housed in a west-Texas assisted living facility, an amazing woman founded Bessie’s Hope. Linda Holloway saw the lack of a loving touch. The professional singer/musician recruited a dear friend and they started entertaining Holloway’s grandma and others. Bingo. A wonderful nonprofit was born in simplicity: Engage the elderly by saying hi, stating our names, asking theirs and giving a sincere compliment. Then converse, dance a little jig and sing. Have fun. It’s magical and good for the giver as much as the receiver.
Folks, this week let’s keep it simple. Say hi, introduce yourself and give a compliment. If that doesn’t enthuse you? Show up, smile and serve. Or commit to becoming more fit, connected and giving.

Three options wonderfully benefiting you, us and others. A cord of three strands not easily broken!

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