Inspiring Altruism

One of the many local shops damaged during the 2009 Poas Earthquake

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.”  Edward Hale

During my travels last month, I had a chance to catch up with a dear friend.  I didn’t get to spend much time with him as he had been out of town, attending workshops and classes, continuing his education.  But he told me a story that has stuck with me, inspired me and made me want to share it with you.

We often think that we’re just one person, that maybe we don’t have much money to give to others and we don’t know how we can help.  But each of us makes a difference.  This story proves that.

My friend told me that he had recently been traveling through the Poas region.  If you’ve read my book, you’ll remember that I was there when the 2009 earthquake hit and saw the damage it caused to the region (photo above).  From what my friend told me, much of the area and its people are still trying to recover – almost 4 years later.

He told me about one hotel/restaurant that was being rebuilt and how they had a view from their veranda to a waterfall and a beautiful vista full of trees and plants.  And of course, many many birds.  He told me he wanted to find someway to help them bring more tourists to their recovering business and he decided to create a “bird list” for them.  He would take a few days to observe all the birds he saw in the area and then create a sign that listed the birds that they could post out on the veranda that overlooked the forested area.  Birdwatching is hugely popular in Costa Rica so this was a great idea to help out the business.

And it was something so simple that didn’t take much time, money or effort for my friend.  He didn’t have any connection to these people, he just had an altruistic desire to find some way to help.

Just like my friend last week that I mentioned in the Tortuga post, I’m proud to call this young man my friend.  Each of us can make a difference – what small project can you do to help someone else out?

Pura vida…Chrissy