Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Outdoor Living, Recreation for Some, Necessity for Others

From Mitch Albom’s site on Have A Little Faith… In the book Albom becomes involved with a Detroit pastor – a reformed drug dealer and convict – who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.

I teach outdoor education and recreation. I teach parents and teachers to take the children outdoors for enrichment and appreciation of nature and all it offers us. I am also a huge proponent of outdoor education for the skills it can teach us about doing without modern day appliances, which in turn may someday give us an edge if we are forced to cope with a natural or manmade disaster. People forced from their homes have a better chance of survival if they have developed a sense of well being and confidence in the absence of electricity, running water and a warm cozy bed.

Mitch’s book gives a detailed description of what it’s like to live on the street, and the way Pastor Henry had compassion upon these people to make their live not just more comfortable, but bearable. One of the characters loses his toes from frostbite. Can we even imagine? A wise person once told me, “The key to happiness is gratitude”. This principle is demonstrated and affirmed in the book when some of the homeless rejoice in being granted just a few comforts, like some used clothing or shoes without holes.

I challenge us all to consider this as the new year approaches and we think about all we have to do in 2010 and goals we wish to accomplish. Take some time to consider those not just less fortunate, but those who have nothing, and do something to make a difference in your community.

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