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Day 22 - "They just need somebody to listen."

Some days it seems that you are put on a track, a specific series of events to get you someplace you will be better for going. I don't know how much of a believer in fate or destiny I am, but I know there are days when what looked like a rough road ended in an amazing destination. That was every bit of today.

It started with a cancellation, the connection for today had to cancel at 9 am. Fortunately, Michelle Bryant Griffin had asked me last night about someone she thought I should meet, Rhonda Moore. We were able to set up an afternoon connection and I went through a day that filled itself with some heartbreaking emails, some general annoyances and the presence of more than a few critics (who you should know hold a special place in my heart). The day moved on, actually getting better during a great photo session and culminating in my time with Rhonda.

Rhonda is incredible in a lot of ways. She has seen some rough times in her life, in every aspect of it. Her heart it huge, filled with an incredible amount of compassion and a drive to help others. Sometimes it gets taken advantage of. That seems to be the true danger of the big-hearted, the truly compassionate, they can be taken advantage of, banged up and bruised. With all of those aspects of a life, how could you blame someone from being mistrusting of people?

As a result of my own rough roads, I became very distrusting, always wondering what someone's angle was or bracing myself for the hurt. As much as I'd like to tell you that is a long distant memory, it is actually within the last year or so that I have really started to change. Not Rhonda Moore. She loves people, she chooses to see the good in them. It's in everything she does. No matter how much the world hurts her, she keeps wanting to help people. Oh, make no mistake. She is not a punching bag. She knows she has to take care of herself, but there is this amazing way she cares for others all of the time.

Rhonda works in the trucking industry. She loves to listen to the stories of people coming through, they are transient spirits, but they are people, due all respect. People will tell Rhonda about their lives, the problems and challenges they are facing. She will ask them about those problems, listen to them, and then ask if she can pray for them. For as long as she can remember their name, or for even longer if she wrote it down. I don't doubt this at all about Rhonda. The reality is, if I needed her to pray for me, she would say that prayer tonight. She met me 45 minutes before she revealed this.

When she talks about these moments, about listening to the stories of others with so much compassion and care, she says:

"They just need somebody to listen."

I asked Rhonda what her dream was. What was it she loved doing, her passion, the one thing she would do forever and be happy. She smiled when she said "To help people."

She means this. Rhonda Moore is a great example of integrity of the person. She is the person she is, totally, with her heart and soul. It's really cool. She prays for others, she listens to them when they need, she would jump into a camper to save people in a disaster zone. Maybe my favorite detail is a story about her work. She keeps a variety of snacks and such because nobody likes being hungry. When her coworkers get hungry, she invites them to "the store." They always offer to pay, but she never takes money. There are people that love her that same way.

Meeting Rhonda made my day better.

Rhonda has been down some rough road, but she has never lost her love for people, her compassion.

We should all try to be a bit more like Rhonda.

Favorite Dinosaur: T Rex

Why: They are strong, mighty and fierce, but they still only have those little arms. We all have some kind of flaw, but even then we can find a way to adapt.


Favorite Disney Princess: Belle

Why: Becayse she sees the beauty in the Beast, the good in the bad,

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