Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival. ~Dalai Lama
I’m so inspired by the people who take action on making the world a better place by fighting for a cause, no matter the cost. Blood, tears, and sweat went behind the Wayfarer Foundation team for months. Organizing an event like the 2017 Skid Row Carnival of Love takes a community. A community of people with big hearts and who believe in something of lasting change in the world.
This is my second year at the Skid Row Carnival and I continue to be impressed and humbled by all the people who made it happen and a success. The number of volunteers (estimated around 2000 people) and attendees who participated were truly mind-blowing! More volunteers showed up on the day of than expected that people were asked to help from outside the perimeters of the event (due to fire safety regulations). It was so heartwarming to see volunteers of all ages, background, ethnicity, and vocations come together to unconditionally give, and openly receive love. From food and beverages, arts and crafts, to legal and health services, and entertainment and games, everyone was having a blast! For a few hours, nothing else mattered; we were just all the same human beings… smiling, dancing, playing, and having a great time.
When the end came, it was bittersweet. Our homeless friends went back to their tents and cardboard boxes on the streets of downtown LA. Volunteers hopped onto the bus back to the parking lot. On the one hand, it was one of the most heartwarming and uplifting experiences for many. On the other hand, people go back to living their lives. And the uncomfortable truth is that sometimes we forget how we need to continue to seek inspiration, and do good in the world, even when it’s hard or inconvenient to our daily schedules. Great change never happened because it was easy and convenient. Great change takes effort and hard work. The day was over and it may seem like nothing really changed… but our spirits continue to give hope to so many.
For those of us who are fortunate to have food on our table each night, and a roof over our heads every morning, may we continue to love and help others every chance we get. The Skid Row Carnival of Love encourages us to carry that same frame of heart we had on skid row, throughout each and every day of the year. Little by little, the world will be better because of it.
May we live with compassion, kindness, love, and be the light in a world that can sometimes feel quite dark. May we choose to love through our actions, give selflessly, and may the power of happiness be within all of us.