Grassroots Kindness


I have a lot to thank my great friend Derrick for. Not only did he keep me safe last year when I needed it most, he also provides many of the pearls of wisdom that help me write this column each week.

We’re having our end of week catch-up over a carafe of red wine at his fantastic local pub The Hourglass, and tonight he’s on particularly good form.

I’m telling him about the week I’ve had and all the glorious synchronicities I’ve experienced, discovering connections between people I knew, and also how utterly wonderful it is that we share a mutual good friend in Helen, his neighbour, who joins us later.

He doesn’t need to say much, he puts it simply:

“Good people eventually congregate together”.

I write this down immediately, I love it’s simplicity, and the week I’ve just had saw me meeting a lot of good people.

It started on Tuesday when I met an inspirational woman Sallie Rutledge, who runs The Mede in Topsham. What started out as providing a holiday home for those with loved ones living with Dementia, turned into a day care centre, with 20 staff helping in it’s running.

Sallie used her own resources to set this up, its a not-for-profit organisation, which only exists because Sallie is taking nothing for herself, and it’s been funded entirely by her and the work she does to raise funds with events like her Walk To Exmouth.

We’d not met before, but it turns out that some of these people who have helped in running of The Mede, are connections of mine, and I’m not surprised. This is a group of women I took to Croatia a couple of years ago on retreat, and they are some of the kindest women I know.

Later that week, I was at a coffee morning at the home of another of this group of friends. It was for Home Start Exeter and East Devon, a wonderful charity who help support local families in need. I’m running a charity yoga event for them on Easter Monday and it really is a pleasure to be there. I walk in and I must know half the room as many are yoga students of mine.

I didn’t even know they were connected to the host, but it doesn’t surprise me. They all share something in common, and that’s kindness and compassion, and commitment to causes which help those less fortunate.

I think how blessed I am to know them. I am in awe of how they take time in their busy lives to help support others. It’s happening everywhere. People like this seem to filling in the gaps which are left by a system that is failing us.

I read a quote from Benjamin Disraeli which was:

“Power has only one duty – to secure the welfare of the people”.

In so many ways, those in power do not seem to be doing this, and whilst unimaginable amounts of money and resources are being spent on the “B” word, people are struggling to survive.

Thank God for the good people that do care and their grassroots work that is so much needed.

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