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Sharon Randall: We all have a purpose

Writer

Sharon Randall can be reached at P.O. Box 777394 Henderson NV 89077 or on her website: www.sharonrandall.com.

Sharon Randall can be reached at P.O. Box 777394 Henderson NV 89077 or on her website: www.sharonrandall.com.

On the first day of fall, I sat by a window in Redding, Calif., looking out on a pond that mirrored a blue sky, watching squirrels and geese and clouds and trees do what they do best.

I wish you could’ve seen them.

I believe all God’s creations are put on Earth for a purpose. If their purpose that day was simply to delight me, they knocked it out of the park.

Have you ever noticed how most things in Nature seem to know why they are here?

Humans are the exception. As soon as we can talk, someone will ask us, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

When I was 6, I wanted to be a forest ranger in a lookout tower. Some days, I still do.

Animal babies are never asked what they will be. Birds grow up to be birds. Dogs grow up to be dogs. Jack rabbits grow up to eat everything in my yard.

Humans grow up to be human. Most of us. But some of us spend our lives trying to figure out why we are here.

My reason for being in Redding was pretty clear. In three days, I spoke at three events, two of which were fundraisers for the Women’s Fund of Shasta Regional Community Foundation.

Those talks were easy. I talked about some of the kindnesses I have known: As a child whose family fell on hard times; as a teenager hoping to go to college; as a wife and mother whose husband was dying with cancer.

I’ve had vast experience on the receiving side of kindness. I can talk about it until the cows come home. And so I did.

Kindness, I said, is love in action: The love of God. The love of family and friends. Even the love of strangers. It comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. A canned ham when you’re hungry. A college scholarship when you need it. The prayers of someone’s children for your children. And in countless other strange and wondrous ways.

Sometimes, I said, it’s an organization like the Women’s Fund, that makes hard times a little easier for women, like my mother, and families like mine, who never want a “handout,” but need a helping hand.

There are many organizations like the Women’s Fund, neighbors helping neighbors all around the country. Or there should be. If there’s not one in your town, maybe you can start one with your friends?

At the third event, I met with some journalism students from local colleges. I told them my story of how I became a reporter  (through the grace of God and the back door of a newsroom) and a few things I’ve learned in my 25 years as a columnist.

Like all good journalists, they asked excellent questions. I wish you could’ve heard them. There are days when I worry about the future of journalism. Something about the light in their eyes made me worry a little less.

For three days in Redding, I shook hands, hugged necks and met hundreds of “friends” I’d not met before and may never see again this side of heaven.

I got to know the gorgeous land they call home, the birds and trees, the mountains and the river and especially the people. They made me feel like it was my home, too.

I listened to them talk about the things they love, the hopes and fears and dreams they share for themselves, their children and their community.

For a while, I got to be one of them. What a gift. Best of all, I heard them say that my stories are their stories, too. We are all more alike than we are different.

What is your purpose, your reason for being here? After all these years, I’m still not sure of mine. But I do know what I want to be when I grow up.

I want to be kind. A truly kind wife, mama, nana, sister, auntie,  cousin, neighbor, friend, writer, speaker and forest ranger in a lookout tower. If you hear of any openings, let me know.

Sharon Randall can be reached at P.O. Box 777394, Henderson NV 89077, or on her website: www.sharonrandall.com.

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