Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Sum of Somethings

A little over a week ago, I expressed my frustrations with my own limitations. More specifically, I was unhappy that I was unable to do more to help a woman who obviously needed help. It's about time that I posted a follow-up.

It took me longer than I'd thought to track down the name of the management company. I thought my alderman's office would know, but they only keep lists of condominiums, not rentals. I hunted around online (if I were truly as smart as I pretend to be, I would have simply picked up the phone and called one of my two friends who live in that building. Guess I'm not so smart after all...), and finally found the number. So I called. No answer. I didn't want to leave a message, since it would have sounded extraordinarily convoluted, what with me not being a tenant and all. So I called again later. No answer.

A few days ago, I got an email from one of my friends in the building. She'd seen the elderly woman again, and she seemed just as confused as she had the week before. Another one of the tenants was helping her. So my friend called the management.

The next day, I got another email from my friend. She'd talked to the management. Turns out that other tenants had called as well. The management had gotten in touch with the woman's family, and arrangements were being made for her to have a full-time nurse.

There's obviously a limit to what one person can do in certain situations. A phone call, a helping hand...they can seem like such little acts sometimes. But when you add up all those little acts, made by many people, it turns out you end up with a lot. Sometimes something really isn't enough. But a whole lot of somethings...that's a different story.

We can make a difference. We just can't always do it alone.

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