The OCP Blog

Let Us Be Kind to One Another

“Let us be kind to one another, for most of us are fighting a hard battle.” – Ian Mclaren

In a recent blog post, Randi, our Kitchen Manager wrote about the joys and difficulties of working at OCP. From time to time, I reflect on those same issues. Working in a community center where so many of our friends wake up each day and struggle with homelessness, addiction, mental illness, loneliness, loss, and poverty is hard. We put on a happy face and hope that a smile, a hug and a kind word or simple gesture, will show them that they have worth, that they are loved and accepted and wanted. Sometimes it’s hard to get them to see each the value of each other, to see not only the human side of that struggle but also the divine spark in each other, and sometimes because of our own battles, its hard to for us to see them as well. There are days that I go home and wonder if I’m helping anyone at all, days where the battles they are fighting seem insurmountable and impossible, days where my own seem the same. In those moments, I look around and find joy in the most unexpected places; laughter ringing out across the front lawn during a pickup game of football, exclamations of victory in a competitive game of UNO, the smiles of pride that I see at every Friday Lunch Restaurant meeting when Randi reads the comments that customers leave each week, the smile of a young woman in a wheelchair participating in and loving our weekly drum circle. Struggling is part of the human condition, how we respond to it is up to us. This community is a community of fighters and optimists, a community of people that manage to find joy in the smallest moments no matter how hard the battle is.  Those moments are the ones that I keep coming back for, the ones that make OCP a special place in this community.

Annie Pangle

Volunteer & Community Care Coordinator