Revolution #58, August 27, 2006
“...her ability to inspire hope in others for a better world...”
The following is from a statement at Susan's memorial from a nurse who helped care for her during her treatment for cancer:
There were so many reasons to love Susan, but the one that stands out most was her ability to inspire hope in others for a better world. Susan would eventually change my mind about people and my attitude towards them. In nursing, I am allowed to be a heroine everyday, but if you were to have asked me whether a person would be willing to volunteer their time, in today's world, I would have asked, “What's in it for them?”
Needless to say, it was a hopeless way of looking at the world, viewing society as primarily driven by self-interest. It's easy to see how Susan would inspire anyone who met her, but could they envision the world as their community as she would?
Of course, after having met the medical team, I was witness to a kind of generosity, perseverance and love that could only be inspired by someone like Susan.
Susan helped dissolve my feelings of hopelessness for the world we live in. By helping her and meeting the medical team, I saw firsthand what my old self wouldn't have believed…it is possible to give and receive unconditionally.
Helping Susan reminded me of what Albert Einstein wrote:
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
The following is from a statement from a friend of Susan's from her gym. It was submitted for inclusion in this coverage:
When Susan joined the health club there was an uncomfortable silence in the women’s locker room between the Korean immigrant members and the other members. There was a distinct “we’ and ‘them’ attitude on the part of the other members. True to her beliefs and international awareness, Susan began to make a change. First she smiled at the Koreans, then said good morning, and then began conversations. I first became aware of what was going on when I saw one of the Korean women bringing Susan a jar of kimchee, a Korean delicacy, and very difficult to make, I’m told. Soon other members picked up on the new attitude and now everyone smiles, says good morning, or stops to have a conversation and the locker room is a much pleasanter place to be.
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