“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” ~ Scott Adams
At just 12 years old, Jesse Joy Rees, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The pain she felt each day from both the illness and the subsequent treatments was nearly unbearable. And though, for some, this may have proven insufferable—in this case, young Jesse’s spirit rose above.
Jesse spent the next 10 months undergoing an experimental treatment—one that allowed her to complete the devastating chemotherapy and radiation treatments on an outpatient basis. It was following one of those treatments, and as Jesse was leaving the hospital, that she looked back and asked,
“Mom and Dad, when do all the other kids come home?”
There’s just no easy way to answer a question like that. But, her father, did his very best to try to convey—that some children will stay in hospital for many weeks, months, and sometimes years—and some, never get to come home again, at all.
When Jesse heard this, she simply asked, “Then…how can we help them?”
How often is is that we take a moment in our day to ask this very question, “How can I help?”
Sometimes, we may feel that the problem is too big and we are just too very small. But we all have within us this brilliant capacity to bring love and compassion to those who need it most of all.
And yet, our own minds—our own self doubt…crushes that thought before we have even really tried.
I think this is sometimes the saddest part of our existence—when our hearts ask us to reach out and do something good, but our minds find a way to get us to stop.
Dreams go unfulfilled, and good deeds never make their way out. How amazing this world might be, if we could only just listen and trust in our hearts.
I am so moved by this young girl’s spirit, because, given all that she was going through in that moment—it would have been so very easy for her to focus just on herself. But instead, something truly miraculous rose up from her spirit—and rippled out to touch the lives of so many young ones.
So much good can result from one single moment, when it is that we have the faith and good sense to believe.
What started with just a handful of brightly decorated brown paper bags stuffed with Jesse’s very own toys, has now grown to a magnificent charitable organization—an organization who’s mission statement is, “Never ever give up.” And now, these small bags which have since transformed to “Jesse’s Joy Jars,” are now being shipped—free of charge—to children all over this world.
Next time you question, “What can I really do?”—just remember the story of a young girl and her jars.
I was really moved by Jesse’s loving kindness and strength of spirit; I hope that her story also resonates with you, as well.
So, never, ever give up—as you, my dears, are unstoppable in your capacity to make a difference in this world.
And, the next time you see an opportunity to help—just remember, real change…begins with you.
Read more about Jesse’s story—or, find out how you might help to make a difference today.
Like young elephants on Facebook.
Ed: Kate Bartolotta
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