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ONLY IF WE UNDERSTAND...

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Recently I read an article sharing the successful accomplishments a primatologist had made over her lifelong desire and goal to help chimpanzees survive and expand. Early in her career, we had the joy of spending a couple of days with her as she shared with college students and later in two public conferences.

We were impressed with her energy and eagerness to make major changes in Africa; but Jane Goodall was young, uneducated, and just beginning her lifelong journey. 

This article focused on a belief she discovered and successfully used to accomplish those major changes. Her belief was and is:

Only if we understand will we care,

Only if we care will we help,

Only if we help shall all be saved!

As I absorbed those thoughts, I truly recognized the growth in her success model from our early meetings and that the three-line message summarized her 60 years of helping people worldwide successfully understand, care, and help. Those are Carolyn’s and my goals also for Kinship Family & Friends (F&F).  

Our Kinship Family & Friends group can work together to help each other, and help new members understand the many factors and factions in our family's LGBT+ world. When we are successful in sharing various ways of understanding, our enriched Family and Friends members can then create and will grow different ways of caring. As we deepen various caring outreaches, we will discover families and friends who have been helped to understand, care, and help themselves and, hopefully, other families.  

To “understand” or “understanding” are two complex and powerful words which can be challenging to accept. Webster’s dictionary defines “understand” as to perceive the meaning; to take as meant; interpret; to take as fact; to have a sympathetic rapport with; to be informed, believe! And “understanding” adds “the power to think and learn, intelligence; a specific interpretation; a mutual agreement especially one that settles differences.

To “care” or “be caring” also have complex and emotional meanings. Again Webster states that “care” includes close attention to need; a liking or regard (for); custody, protection; a responsibility.Caring” includes to feel concern; to feel love or a liking (for); to look after or provide (for); to wish or want.

Let’s take a look at “help” or “helpful.” To “help” meanings are to make things easier or better; to aid, to assist; to serve or wait; to give aid; to be useful, and “helpful” is giving help - being useful. (I originally included “helping” but the dictionary tells me that means “a portion of food served to one person”!) 😊  😊

We hope in our various F&F communications with each other and together in Zoom discussions we can use these three key focuses to understand, care, and help. As we explore “understandings” we need to include topical areas of how we learned, how our brains accept or question information and situations, and how we can update or alter beliefs and understandings.

As we explore care and caring we need to include our emotions and feelings; again, a major function of our brains’ learnings and knowledge. We are very complex beings functionally, emotionally, and personally; and the verified variations among us hopefully are open for discussion and acceptance

And, finally, our acts of helpfulness will be variable and changeable for the many different needs and situations our families and friends encounter as we reach out in different cultures, different languages, and variable faith acceptances and resistances. 

Although Jane Goodall’s focus was much less complicated and narrower than our Kinship F&F LGBT+ challenges, her three-sentence road map is very accurate, meaningful, and legitimate for us to follow also.  

Help Family & Friends create and implement successful understandings, meaningful and worthwhile carings, and valuable and timely ways to help and be helpful.

Remember our motto: “Jesus never looked the other way—and neither should we!”

Please join our monthly Zoom group discussions. You can also always contact us directly for specific questions, discussions, and ideas at family-friends@sdakinship.org. Help us make Family & Friends meaningful and successful.

Our virtual hugs and blessings to all Kinship members. Together we can understand, care, and be helpful.

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