A Greater Cause
I have always loved to travel, and spent many years visiting various parts of Mexico, including Puerto Vallarta. On one of my many trips there back in the 1990's, I had the opportunity to volunteer with some friends involved with community outreach to children living in and around the city of Puerto Vallarta, many of whom live in areas of the city so poor that they have no running water, have little food, and no access to education. Many of them are orphans without any family or anyone to care for them.
We spent several days with a group of these kids, spending time with them and handing out school supplies and clothing so they would be able to attend a local school and get an education. The looks on the faces of those little ones as we interacted with them was precious indeed - they were so excited at the thought that they were going to be able to go to school and learn like other children! Their faces beamed with joy as we talked and played with them and they said "Gracias, senora!" as we handed out the clothing and school supplies. Even though I don't speak Spanish very well, and they could speak no English, it didn't matter because we seemed to understand each other anyway, sharing a connection that went beyond language. Their joy and happiness was infectious and deeply touched my heart. Subsequent years found me back there again to help out the children and my volunteer friends in whatever way I could, bringing school supplies, Spanish language reading books or clothes down with me from home, helping to serve food, or just spending time interacting with them and being with them -- whatever I could do in the time I had available.
In the moments I spent with those kids, I felt like I had more children than just my daughter who was back at home in the US. I felt like a mother to ALL of them. Each one of those children felt like my own child, and I was filled with gratitude at having the opportunity to make a difference in someone else's life, and to be able to give something back to a place that held many special memories for me. I guess you could say I had a sense of the "oneness" of community that can happen when people come together to do something for a greater cause.