"Hi Mom. Do you have a minute?"
"Well, I have to tell you how your words influenced me to do something good."
"And it's not even Mother's Day."
She laughs. "I don't know who said it, but you used to say, Never suppress a generous thought. "
"Spoken by Camilla Kimball."
"Yes, and because of those words, it prompted me to do something I really feel good about."
How ironic that I had just hung up the phone and thanked my own mother for her example of patience and love.
"A few days ago, I saw the police following a young man as he and another man pushed his car down the street and into a parking place right across from our house. Apparently, if a person lives in his car, he has to move it every few days."
I think of the rough neighborhoods just blocks away from her pleasant Chicago neighborhood.
"So the next day," she continues, "it was extremely hot, and I wondered how he was doing. I had a generous thought of taking him some ice water, but I hesitated, cause here I am with a four year old and a newborn. I hesitated. But then I saw a neighbor talking to him and it gave me the courage to follow through. I made him a sandwich, filled a cup with ice water, and walked out to see how he was doing. I found the older gentleman was trying to help him, and I suggested that he may want to find a neighborhood cooling station (set up for the homeless during hot Chicago summers). Between the two of us, I felt we gave him some hope."
In her actions, she also found a boost to her own hope. She clings to this hope that all will be well in her Chicago neighborhood, in which crime keeps creeping closer.
The majority of citizens in her neighborhood keep searching for solutions to help two feuding families who threaten the peace with gunfighting in spite of some of the toughest gun laws in America. Her community has a facebook page, and they are working towards peaceful resolutions.
As a doctor of psychology, I think she can solve any problem, but she laughs and tells me she doesn't specialize in conflict resolution. She planned to go to the first meeting not as a professional but as a concerned citizen. Again, irony comes into play: she ended up staying home because the meeting was held in a place, at night, where she didn't feel safe.
In the meantime, she will abide the situation by living the principle, never suppress a generous thought. Possibly the only hope for a troubled city.