This is a monthly post occurring on the last Friday of every month. This is the 4th month in which people all over the world write a heart warming or inspirational story bringing light into this dark & shadowy world we live in.

 I witnessed first hand the magnanimity of humans answering the call for help –

We were down in Plettenberg Bay recently (Garden Route of the South-western Cape) where raging fires had spread from Knysna and surrounding areas to Plettenberg Bay and its’ surrounding areas over several days. Lives were lost. The devastation was huge – homes, farms, vegetation, trees, fynbos, small animals were engulfed in the fires. Estimation of damage in terms of money runs into billions of rands.

In the shopping centre near to our Plett holiday home, a huge store was vacant – until the outpouring of people filled it to the brim – clothing for all ages, food, blankets, toys, cots, water. I volunteered a few times in sorting clothing for children into their appropriate ages and bagging them, to be then collected to get to their distribution points. It was a massive, very well-organised operation over several days, ongoing by the time we left, with hundreds of people offering their time in the sorting of food, clothing and various at different times.

Homes were opened to those displaced, hotels and BnB’s a place to stay free of charge. Banks and business donated millions.

My heart softens when I realise the huge-heartedness of people. Not just South Africans, but people all over the world are ready and willing to help when and where they can. We can extend this kindness in our ordinary everyday lives as well …

‘In a real sense all life is interrelated. All men are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the inter-related structure of reality’. Martin Luther King.

 . I excerpted the below from Jenni Baxter’s Facebook post –  dated June 9, 2017.
South African artist Beezy Bailey posted a beautifully moving and poignant response to the loss of his home, and incredible works of art, in the devastating fires which ravaged the southern Cape this week.

 Posting the photo above on Friday morning (3 Friday’s back), Beezy wrote:

“I believe that Armageddon is the end of the beginning and not the beginning of the end. I’m more interested in how beautiful this photo is of my Plet house on fire than sad. I’ll do a painting of it .

“I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m lucky enough to have a Plet house and we were thankfully insured, the loss of many art works of mine dating back to the 80s that my son Jasper thought were my finest is sad.

“And I’m sad about the lovingly grown garden, which will slowly grow back.

“But Bird House will be rebuilt even better than before. The birds will come back.

“But please your support, sympathy and sorrow must be focused on the hundreds of poor people with no insurance, and no nothing… who have lost everything.

“Let us unite in times like these, something we South Africans are so good at, and pick our selfs up by our boot straps and re build broken hearts, homes and lives together.”

As SAPeople contributor Megan Carr said: “What an inspiration this man is, to all South Africans, to the world in fact? I am saddened by the loss of his art. Please paint for us Beezy we need more of you everywhere. XX❤️XX”

Please join us if you would like, and spread the word by adding your own personal story or  other enlightening event. Let’s set about diluting/dissolving
 the negativity around the world and bringing in the light. We are about 70 people so far around the world taking part on the last Friday of each month.
 
A quick checklist of guidelines:
Keep your post short, 500 words or less to your own story or a link to a story

 that shows love, humanity and brotherhood in action.

(I apologise, I have not adhered to the word count)

Belinda Witzenhausen,  Lynn Hallbrooks,  Michelle WallaceSylvia McGrath, Sylvia Stein : our co-hosts this month with our thanks. Please pop by and visit them. 
This is the link to which you can add yours.
May the Force be with you. Thank you for reading.

48 comments on “#WATWB”

  1. When in the middle of a tragedy and crisis, people come together to help and show solidarity, it reaffirms our faith in humanity. Thanks for sharing this encouraging and inspiring story, Susan.

    • Thanks Shilpa – our faith in humanity is restored many times over thankfully! Just when despair seems to be our constant companion, something happens …

  2. Moments like that give me hope.

    Sorry to hear SA is being struck by wildfires. They’re destroying everything in sight in my home province as well. 🙁

    • I so hope the fires in your neck of the woods are under control Holli – thank you for coming by, and I’m sorry I’m late in responding …

  3. It’s on occasions like that that we see the sense of solidarity and common humanity emerge – fortunately. And it far outweighs the occasional nastiness. Thanks for a nice reminder of that.

  4. I’m so sorry that so many went through this. I’m so glad that so many stepped up. The light out of the darkness for sure. Thanks for sharing about this and for being a part of #WATWB

  5. I hope that the rebuilding of you homes and businesses will give a sense of renewal. I hurt for those that lost their lives, such as the animals….

  6. Wow, this was truly a story of people coming together in a time of crisis and pulling themselves from the tragedy and devastation and lifting one another. Thank you for sharing this story Susan. Such a emotional and beautiful post.

  7. What a wonderful post, Susan. It is lovely that you were able to help in such a direct way. I made a donation through Investec and my son’s school but couldn’t do anything physically like this. A very inspirational post by Beezy Bailey.

    • Thanks Robbie … how lovely that your son’s school also donated! You would have heard how DHL, various airlines and many more came to the fore offering their services –

  8. What a lovely post, Susan. Out of so much tragedy comes so much good will and hope. It is wonderful to see. The compassion of Beezy is amazing. I will have to check out the artwork. I love the quote by Martin Luther King too. I apologise that I haven’t joined in this wonderful blog hop, other than the first time. I’ve been busy with my work and was confused about how to post. I must try to remember to participate in the future.

    • Thanks Norah for coming by … do check out his art work. My husband’s sister who lives in California was here a year or so ago and is very good friends with Beezy Bailey’s mother, who we went to visit out outside Johannesburg out in the country. She showed us a coffee table book of BB’s work which was truly wonderful. His work is probably available online.

  9. Through tragedy comes beauty. I have seen it before and truly believe that humans are inherently good. Some may say I’m naive but from what I’ve seen when the chips are down we are more likely to be altruistic than selfish. Thanks so much for sharing this story! #WATWB

  10. I am heart-broken about the devastation I have read about here. But there is a heartening note which reminds me of a statement by Mr. Rogers of PBS children’s broadcasting fame: “When something terrible happens, look for the helpers.”

  11. This leaves me thoughtful, Susan. As Hilary says, what a wonderful blogfest. We need to broadcast more or these stories. That so many come together in times like these keeps our faith in humanity; but I am saddened that it takes such times to make the news. Humans come together all the time for good causes and for higher thinking. Thankfully, there IS a lot of good out there. Thanks for sharing this story.

    • Thanks Samantha so much. I think when tragedy strikes, it’s pretty much news. I agree there is a lot of good in the world-I like how you say that tragedy leads to good causes and higher thinking. Sort of acts as a prod. Which hopefully spills over into ordinary everyday life – maybe we see more clearly how fragile life is?

    • Thanks Jacqui – get politics out of the way and humanity shows its true colours. Maybe I’ll write to the newspapers with that focus in mind –

  12. Such a positive and loving post in the midst of all the horror that was experienced in Plett. It is so delightful that people and corporations worked together to help those people who lost so much. At this time in our world with so much going wrong, a happy story definitely is uplifting! Thanks, Susan! Great job!

  13. This is a wonderful story of hope and help. I can only imagine how defeated I’d feel if I lost everything in a fire. So happy to know that you were able to work at the volunteer center doing something that helps the process of healing begin. Kids clothes, how fun!

    • Thank you Ally Bean – I think imagining such a thing happening to ourselves helps to put things into some kind of perspective without losing sight of the tragedy in front of our eyes. It was special also to see the tiny little jackets and socks so lovingly hand made and passed on!

  14. Thank you Susan. I always find beautiful and inspiring food to feed my soul in your special garden. It is a joy to return here again and again. Jeanie

    • Thank you Jeanie .. I think the comments are so wonderful and enriching. I hope all well with you and family and that your writing is coming along apace!

  15. When wide-scale tragedy strikes we are all gifted with the opportunity to experience what true heart-opening looks like with the outpouring of love and support. What a beautiful voice Beezy is – and I think that really is one of the roles of the artists in our world.

    Thank you for sharing this story Susan.

    • Thanks so much Deborah … you express that so well, the heart-opening with the outpouring of love and support. I wonder if Beezy Bailey will ever come this post? If I ever meet him in Plett I will tell him that you said his voice as artist fulfilled his role ..

  16. wow susan ! you touched my heart and the picture above is a sad one; but the generous souls that have come together as one big family to reach out is a beautiful example of – goodness still left in the world. I appreciate those who selflessly open their hearts and their homes… brought to my mind the floods in chennai wherein all the temples, mosques and churches were opened for all those who were badly affected by the floods. No body thought about religion, politics … thats what it means to be truly human, there is no religion greater than humanity. Thank you for sharing such a meaningful post and I pray and hope that all be well and peace harmony be restored to those who have suffered. You post was not only inspiring but motivating too… the quote of Martin Luther is simply great !!

    • Thanks Genevive for your comment. It’s wonderful when people come together to help others in the face of tragedies … and as you say, no thought about religion, politics, colour. How I love that – ‘There is no greater religion than humanity’!

      Have a lovely weekend xx

  17. Time and time again, I witness people come together through tragedy and hard times. And the people who allow the tragedies, the lost to penetrate their hearts find deep compassion and empathy and they come out stronger and more determine. I truly enjoyed reading this post this morning.
    Wishing you a joyful weekend, my friend.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

    • Thank you Pat for coming by .. tragedy can bring out the best in us I suppose; not necessarily for those deeply affected by their losses, but in the response of humanity towards them which has meaning for those sorely affected … You too have a joyful weekend – Shalom to you, Susan

  18. Hi Susan – I’d seen the fires, and you’d noted them, but what a wonderful outpouring of help has come from South Africans, particularly those in the vicinity – who could offer food, clothing, water, shelter etc …

    Beezy’s story is another matter – he has some wise words and I’m sure this will inspire him and others to remember those in need. We need more people in the world not to be selfish or greedy – but to think of others … and I love the Martin Luther King quote …

    This is a wonderful blogfest – and we read such great stories via our blogging friends – thanks so much … cheers Hilary

    • Thanks so much Hilary – I agree re the WATWB – such a great medium in which to spread uplifting stories! I loved yours about SERV … have a great weekend. Susan

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