Friday, October 23, 2009

Volunteer My Heart Away.

You know how this goes. I sigh...


I stand in front of two steel counters with plastic gloves over my hands and a cheap, disposable white hairnet on my hair. Is this really necessary? Clock reads -- 8:13am. OMG. I shake my head, wishing it was lunch time already.

A guy approaches me. Looks like a Chef. Just has that swagger.

Chef: "Okay hey wasup. You a volunteer?"
Me: "Uh, yes. I am."
Unfortunately. Hey now, don't get me wrong, I love to volunteer. Just not in the eaaarly mornin'.
Chef: "Super. I need you to tear up these large pieces of chicken into little pieces."
I look over his shoulder and see the endless piles of long, narrow sheets of fatty chicken. Um, I don't have to do I?
Me: "I got it."
Uh, I totally don't.
Chef: "Oh, and it would be awesome if you did this in like an hour...tops."
How the heck am I going to get through all of this in that amount of time?
Me: "No problem!"
Look. I know how to bullshit when I need to. Let's just say that Hollywood is rubbin' off on a sistah.
As I grab a tray and get to work on my assigned task, like Chris Brown doing community service, I kinda give it my all. Okay, not really. And, almost as if G-O-D answered my prayers, I hear my savior (a black Woman in her 50s) approach me.
Woman: "What needs to be done here?"
Me: "Um, the Chef just told me to break up these trays of chicken. I have about 10 more to do, which I'm sure will take at least an hour."
Before I finish my sentence she has already gone to town on a tray of chicken and broken up half of it with her speedy hands.
Me: "...or not."
Woman: "We gotta speed this up now. These sick people have to get their food."
And before I know it, the Woman is on her 4th tray while I am just finishing my first. She ain't playin' around. I wonder what her story is?
Me: "So, how long have you been volunteering here?"
Woman: "Let's see now...around two weeks. I gotta do it for school...and myself. Getting my masters in Nutrition."
Me: "Awesome. Where ya from?"
Woman: "Compton, honey. Yourself?"
Me: "I'm from the valley."
She shoots me a proud smile as she says --
Woman: "Well, that's all right. See, now myself, I wasn't supposed to make it this far, ya know. A girl from South Central who grew up on food stamps. No way was I supposed to make it this far. But, my mama taught me right."
Me: "That's cool that you're here and giving your time."
Woman: "Ahh yes, you must help others. My mama, before she died, always told me to help those who can't help themselves. And, it gives me something to do. All of my family is gone now. My two brothers died this year due to smoking."
Me: "Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that."
Woman: "It's okay. The great Lord has blessed me and continues to everyday. I am glad to be here. A gurl from the South side of Compton. Who would have imagined I would get this far?"
As she continues making me and the rest of the volunteers look bad with her quick and impressive hands, I can't help but feel inspired. And, I can't help but far am I supposed to go?


Life's unpredictable. We don't know where we'll be today, tomorrow, or even in the Present moment. I think it comes down to living in the moment and staying positive. Easier said than done, I know. But, if we're too busy thinking about things then it becomes close to impossible to see all of the wonderful things happening right in front of our face. Word.

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