This past weekend I had the honor and privilege of attending a local Sickle Cell Association Family Fun Day Event. It’s perhaps something that I’ve not been able to do in quite a significant amount of time due to many mitigating circumstances. It is in all sincerity something that I’m passionate about. I have often grieved me that I’ve not previously been as active as I had once been, but as things begin to shift and change for my family, this event presented opportunities that are often rare.
What I enjoyed about this event went far and above the games and food that we enjoyed. It went directly to the heart of being able to see others like myself who live with Sickle Cell Anemia. Just to see how many are actually in the community and what degree of support exists and what lacks for people like me. Speaking to one of the association’s host and leader, I had the benefit of learning just how great the challenges are for the local community when it comes to support.
Something that I really enjoyed seeing was how there was so much concern by the leader of this local chapter for the young people and the families that are living with Sickle Cell. You could really see how much she loved each and every family that was represented, including my own. When I met her at an event prior to this recent one, she immediately took a special interest in my three children. That interest did not wane or waver when she met my wife this time around.
What I took away from this event goes far beyond the school supplies that were given out or even the food and activities that were made available. It really came down to a view of all the people who really just wanted to know that someone cares and that someone is thoughtful enough to offer something of value.
In a day and age when the world is so captivated by the high-tech age of social media, it’s still such a good feeling to know that people value connecting on a personal level with others. It has motivated me not just to become more social within the Sickle Cell community, but to take a greater look at my community in whole and find ways to show myself more purposefully socially engaged.
We are living in a time where connections are becoming less personal and people are feeling increasingly more disconnected from people, despite how technology has allegedly made us more connected. If we truly want to lift up a community, we have to be purposefully social. This means, at least for me, I’m going to be more purposeful with my community engagement.
QUESTION: How purposeful are you with your social engagements? What ways can you see to make yourself more engaged with your community?