(Excerpted from Culver City Observer article)

Your Sanitizer or Your Life
by Sandra Coopersmith

When I was about five years old, I asked my mother,  “Why are we here?” Her answer, “To help each other.”

That conversation took place in the early 1940s in Canada.  My mother had emigrated from Poland as a very young woman, marrying in Toronto prior to WWII.  We were Jewish, and her entire large family in Europe was slaughtered by the Nazis during my early childhood.  To my mother, being alive meant you had an obligation to do more than just take up space.  “Do some good in the world,” she used to drum into me. We were poor so we gave of our time.

Accordingly, wherever I find myself, whomever I’m with, however I can be of service, that is my community, a fluid, ever-evolving whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, bringing me comfort, a sense of purpose, a feeling of being grounded and exactly where I need to be, doing what I need to do through various volunteer activities.

The concept of community couldn’t be timelier, given the upheaval created by COVID-19. Yes, there is a lot of fear and confusion.  Yes, we are going through a horrific time. Yes, I have my frantic moments. But also YES, people have been kind and caring, neighbors following up on neighbors and offering to help.

Having long believed that from every awful experience we can mine something of value, I am heartened to find the hidden gift within the disruption of coronavirus to be active compassion.  With a loving nod to the memory of my mother, zay gezunt.

Click here for the full article in the Culver City Observer.

Thank you Sandra for your story! “Inside Our Time” digital series:

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