There’s a new song that plays on the Christian radio station I listen to called “Give Me Your Eyes” by Brandon Heath. The song talks about all the people in the world who are each busy with their own life but the author of the song is so involved in his own life that he never notices them. The chorus speaks to God and says:
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
This week, I was without power from Sunday afternoon until late Friday night. I had been out of town last weekend missing a day of work. I planned to catch up on a variety of things on Sunday but the power outage made normal routine things next to impossible. I spent the week in a state of chaos as we moved all our perishables to my office and took showers there due to no hot water. We did laundry at my husband’s office. We were fortunate that both of our offices were previously apartments so we had ready access to a full bath, full kitchen, washer, and dryer. Also, with city water, we could still stay at home. Others we know weren’t as fortunate.
The thing is, we are such creatures of habit that the power outage disrupted every aspect of our lives from morning to night. Something as simple as rolling over in the middle of the night to check the time became impossible. Things were out of place all week as we limited evening activities to a small area we could light. I breathed a sign of relief today when everything got put back where it belongs including the “showering at the office” suitcase. Although we still need to go to my office to retrieve our groceries, life has just gotten less stressful.
All of this gave me but a small taste of what people in disaster areas face and those that live in places around the world without the simple day to day luxuries we take for granted such as electricity and running water. I have gone on mission trips before but this experience gave me a greater appreciation on a first hand basis. I now have a better understanding of what the person next to me may be going through. Disruption of routine coupled with home not being a place free of stress takes its’ toll.
Compassion and understanding for fellow man is one of the reasons I believe that the parents of special needs children have more awareness and insight into the plight of others and, therefore, the ability to lead from a broader, more comprehensive worldview. I have three children who were special needs adoptions. We live 24/7 with issues that affect how we parent and present challenges that others cannot readily comprehend.
It is for these reasons that I was so impressed by Cindy McCain’s story of serving others internationally with medical missions and adopting a medically fragile infant. Cindy could have chosen a life path where others served her but she has instead reached out and touched others to make a difference in the world around her. Both the McCain’s and the Palin’s have chosen to go beyond mere words and step out and live their lives with compassion for the once forgotten, the broken hearted, the special needs children that others would have chosen to over look.
Leadership is more than rhetoric, it takes action. I’m supporting the McCain-Palin ticket because they truly have a heart for humanity. They lead by example. Their families are a testament to their ability to understand the plight of every American and lead accordingly. I am thankful that my eyes have been opened once again to other’s day to day struggles so that I, too, can seek to make a difference in the world around me.