Should have some nice new pictures from Purim and other happenings soon. Now that I have an idea of how to put pictures on the net, send them through e-mail, etc., I'm really into it! I also always get hard copies of my pictures for the photo albums.
Part of my job at Livnot is to keep track of the letters that the alumni send. Yesterday, I saw a letter that someone had written to her chevre (co-participants) that really made me sit up and take notice.
She wrote that several months ago, one of the national service girls (bnot sherut) who work with the participants when they're here had called her to tell her about something that was happening in her city (Washington DC) and when she told the girl that she couldn't attend because of her friend's wedding, the bat sherut became very animated, saying "oh, how nice that your friend is getting married? To whom? Where?" and so on.
It struck her as nice that the bat sherut had joined in her "simcha" (happiness) for her friend, but didn't think much of of it until recently, when she was excited because of the birth of a cousin. She was stunned that her co-workers, whom she told of her excitement, showed no interest or appreciation of her joy, and she ended by saying that she wants to find a community where the members feel each others' happiness (and, when necessary, sadnesses too).
Aside from the message of "community", I was struck by a second message that came across...the message that something that we do without even thinking about it, something that is a passing moment in our lives, can have such a profound effect on others.
Obviously one can't live one's life constantly thinking of how one's demeanor or actions are affecting everyone around them. But it's something to keep in the back of our mind...that what we do can sometimes have reprecussions way beyond the moment. And if that's true, how much truer can it be that when we (almost always) act in a pleasant, joyful, peaceful manner, we positively affect those around all the more.
For a parent, that's something not just to think about, but never to forget!