29 July 2013

A Solution In Sight

(I met Pam through my sister and was immediately struck by her kindness and desire to help others. One of the best parts about having guest blogs is discovering organizations that I wouldn't have learned about otherwise, including this great one.  Melinda)

I actually don’t remember how I came to know about Seva. I think I just stumbled across them on the internet.  What I do remember vividly is the faces of the people it serves. Before you read anything else, go to their website, www.seva.org, and just cruise around.  You will see such beautiful faces.  Children who are joyous, even without the latest toys and gadgets; old people whose wrinkled faces show kindness and hope; families who work side by side to plant crops, and feed and care for one another building self-sustainment for their communities.  Look further – the faces and backdrops will pull you in.  I guarantee it.

Seva delivers eye care services and works to develop community health programs in 14 countries around the world. Eye care programs encompass delivery of services as well as prevention of blindness and sight restoration.   This is a wonderful goal and mission, but the irony is not lost that the light and smiles emanating from the photographic portraiture is what stays with you.  

One of the things that Seva does well and understands is maintaining the dignity and pride of those it serves. These beautiful and proud people are not looking for a handout, but a way to get started and keep going.  What is the old saying?  "Give a man a fish….but teach a man to fish…."

From the website: “The name Seva is a Sanskrit word meaning "selfless service."  Seva was founded in 1978 by a group of medical professionals, counterculture activists, musicians, and compassionate individuals, all dedicated to the alleviation of suffering in the world. Most notably among them are public health expert Dr. Larry Brilliant, spiritual leader Ram Dass, and humanitarian activist Wavy Gravy.”

Okay.  Maybe those names will grab you. I’ll bet you’ll see quite a few names that you’ll recognize if you poke around the website. It’s a wonder this Foundation isn’t more visible.  But I also love that about Seva.  Quiet and caring compassion that I’m proud to be a part of, even if it’s only sending in a donation.  Since 1978, they’ve been building programs, developing communities and restoring sight.  They seem like superheroes to me.

"Helping out is not some special skill.  It is not the domain of rare individuals.  It is not confined to a single part of our lives.  We simply heed the call of that natural impulse within and follow it where it leads us."   --Ram Dass
-Pam Dorland

July 29: Seva.org

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