I’m a single mom in Facebook group for other single mothers. In the group, someone was complaining that there was a post in another more popular Facebook group asking for help that was getting no response. People answered that the post was in the wrong place, it should have been posted in a moms group.
The conversation bothered me because it would have taken just as much time to repost what she had wanted to say instead of write a complaint. I made a note of this within the group and went about my business.
I don't remember what it was exactly that turned a switch on in my head, but at some point I realized I was just like her. Why didn't I just post and ask for help on the mom's site? I thought to myself, how can I help? I don't have a car. I’m busy. I really can't afford to donate, and I don't have time for anything other than my own work. I am a single mother myself. In my mind was an endless list of excuses.
That was before I read the story about this woman. A single mom of four boys with one son suffering from leukemia. I have one son and thank Gd he is exceptionally healthy. I don't know how I do it, let alone how she does with four kids and hospital visits to deal with on her own! I can't imagine what that must be like. I thought to myself: how much time will it take me to post a few messages in forums I’m in to ask for toy donations? Once I got them, I was sure I would figure out a way to get them there.
So that’s what I did. It took only a few minutes out of my day, and then some responses started coming in. Most donations came directly to me, one I had to pick up by foot in two installments. Another a friend brought me stuff from a donor in a different city. All together, it couldn't have taken me more than three hours. Three hours of my time and I literally have boxes full of toys ready for four boys who probably haven't had very much to smile about lately.
I’m not a leader or a crusader. I’m not starting a movement to get toys to every person who needs them. No changing the world for me. I am just someone who heard one story that touched my heart and because someone else complained about it, it got me off my bum to do something about it. I normally wouldn't react this way. I would simply think about the heart wrenching story and move on. If someone was collecting money for, I would give, but up until now that was about the extent of my activism.
Leadership is about heeding that call when it comes your way. When you hear something that pulls on your heartstrings and there is something within your power you can do to help, even if it’s something simple, do it. You don't have to be rich, or have a lot of time on your hands. You don't have to be anything particular. You just have to be you. You may find that it changes your life as well.
Look around you and see who you can help. Really, just do it. Be the leader you are meant to be.
Nitsana Bellehsen is a filmmaker and a content writer living in Tel Aviv. She runs word., a website promoting using words and thoughts carefully to positively impact our lives and our world. Her personal blog is Casa Nitsana and her production company is called Bella Art Productions. She can be contacted through the contact page on Bella Art Productions or word.