Posts Tagged ‘meaning of life’

Wishing you all health, love and happiness in 2013!


I would like to leave you, in 2012, with, alas, not something light, but a reflection that is important to me; the meaning of life.

Last winter I took a leave of absence from work to take care of my daughter who was very ill. (She has recovered and is doing very well now!). Since I had quite a bit more time on my hands than I was used to, I ventured somewhat blindly into the Internet world and e-commerce. Anyone who has a business hopes to make money. That’s the bottom line, but it is far too much work for that to be the only motivation. I knew that I wanted to make a difference. I developed a greater knowledge of natural fibers and of the animals and people who produce them. It is this passion that I wanted to share by only selling yarns that were produced by companies that empower the people who make them. My entrepreneurial efforts have not been fruitful, but during this same period I discovered Knit-a-square and, at the risk of sounding melodramatic, it changed my life.

I am a child of the seventies, sensitive to all the social injustice that was brought to our attention. With all the unadulterated optimism and passion that only a teenager can have, I signed petitions, attend rallies, boycotted companies American and foreign. Until I reached my twenties, I was extremely proud of my “activism” and felt I really was making a difference. We all have these memories. These moments in time that are frozen in our minds. Their meaning? We can brush this memory aside as simple coincidence, but it then becomes persistent, nudging, nagging we  must eventually consider it’s significance. I was twenty years old and I had just seen the movie Gandhi with some friends. I don’t remember much of the movie and I haven’t seen it since. What I remember is sitting in my parent’s kitchen with my mother and one of her friends, explaining the film to them, the man to them, with tears streaming down my face. “What was I doing with my life?” “Wasn’t that what Gandhi was asking us?” Life is not just for living, but for making life better for those around us. I was faced for the first time with the adult reality that perhaps it wasn’t enough. Perhaps I couldn’t make a difference.

My mother and her friend listened patiently to what they assumed was a sort of late adolescent existential moment, but I knew it was more. I went on to finish college, start a career, get married and have children. The desire for this path was irrefutable. In another life I might have joined the Peace Corps or another organisation, but I knew my place was here. I have an extraordinary husband and four beautiful children. I put all my energy into raising them and my teaching. With this, different volunteer activities and the monetary donations I could make, I knew I was making a difference. I had no doubts that I was being true to my values, caring for others, making life better for those around me. The memory only appeared at the worst of moments, as that kind of memory is want to do, Chile, Argentina, Bosnia, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq. I am a doer. I can’t just sit and watch. I would rather have someone tell me that they don’t want my help than not offer it at all. Don’t tell me there is nothing I can do. I refuse to believe it.

So does Ronda. Ronda explains that she could no longer sleep at night after passing these poor children in the streets day after day. She could no longer believe that the situation was hopeless. She had to do something. What she and her niece Sandy decided to do is the most extraordinary thing. Forget the big picture. What can we do, small, easy, cost-effective? Knit-a-Square is born. One square at a time we will provide warmth and comfort to the aids orphans of South Africa.

I will be eternally grateful to Ronda, Sandy and the rest of the family members for what they are doing for the children and for what they have done for me. This is the moment my memory illuminates my 49-year-old mind. THIS is what I have been searching for. My way to truly make a concrete difference. I cannot stop war or violence or disease, but I can knit. Squares knit by my hands will be wrapped around the shoulders of a child to keep him warm and to give him strength, strength to know he is not alone  that people all over the world want him to grow and thrive and have a happy life. I cannot physically wrap my blankets around these children, but this is my wish that is sent with each square.

This is my legacy, the one my parents left me and the one I have worked on and finally made real to leave for others. What is living?

Living is giving.

Help us spread the word by giving a beautiful, downloadable 2013 calendar:

KAS e-calendar 2013

comfort for orphans & vulnerable children 



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