The “Wave” — so it’s been said — first began in the United States at the University of Washington in the 80s. You know, when you’re at a sports game and people take turns to stand up out of their seats, creating a ripple effect — a wave of bodies. I happened to be an undergrad at UW when that global phenomenon began. And I still remember the energy of sitting in Husky Stadium and being a part of the fun and taking my tiny responsibility very seriously as the tide approached towards my section.
I also remember the disappointment when one apathetic section fizzled the whole darn thing.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the wave lately. And I’ve been reminded of the positive impact we can make in the world when we step up, say “yes,” and keep the wave going.
I’m part of a Facebook group for dads who write about fatherhood. There’s over 800 of us. We’re a community. A group of guys with common — albeit very diverse — interests. It’s a light-hearted group. One I turn to for friendly chit chat. And for a few laughs.
But those laughs turned to tears recently when the guy who founded our group, Oren Miller, was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. Serious stuff for anyone, let alone a parent with young kids. The heaviness of the topic — as well as an incredible first-person perspective of it — can best be shared through Oren’s own words.
What happened next, however, is a reminder of how a tiny bit of goodness can still exist in the midst of such great sadness.
And it all began because this group of dads decided to start a wave. A wave for Oren.
It started as a fundraiser on Giveforward, with the initial hopes of raising $5,000 to send Oren and his family on a vacation. A gift to give them one more opportunity for precious memories. The $5,000 goal was reached within hours. As was the reset goal of $10,000. Then $15,000. Then $20,000. The fund — now over $30,000 — has been established not only for a vacation, but to help with medical bills, and any other costs the Millers need support with in the coming months and years.
But the bigger wave from these dads came from what they do best. After all, second to being dads, they are writers. With a global audience. And it’s been through their words that they’ve created a wave. A wave of love. A wave of support. A wave to say that — while we may not have the power to change things — we have the power to help.
These dads have taken to their personal blogs to drive contributions and supporters to Oren’s fundraising page, using personal stories about the value found in simple acts if kindness. And, in honoring their friend, they are sending a message that being a bystander in life isn’t acceptable. We have to step up and help. Because the smallest gesture can ignite a movement. And create magic.
I’ve provided a listing of many of the stories contributing “Oren’s Wave.” I hope you’ll read some of them.
But more than anything, the next time you know of someone in need, I hope you’ll lend a hand, and start your own wave, too.
Andy Hinds: “…the significance of your own mortality….”
Isom Kuade: “…we all need help from time to time…”
Nick Downey: “…making the most of every moment you have…”
Adam Hall: “…these dad bloggers did something amazing…”
Buzz Bishop: “It was a ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff moment.'”
Brent Almond: “…I’ve not met anyone…with such a pure desire to connect…”
Zach Rosenberg: “…those little moment…those are Heaven…”
Chris Read: “…the dads have decided to push the bystander effect to the side…”
Carter Gaddis: “…we can do good in this world when we act together…”
Don Brackett: “…the small things matter much more than you think…”
Jason Greene: “…we lift one another up…”
Dustin Fisher: “…give your kids…a big hug. It helps.”
Sean McKenzie: “Life was perfect in that moment.”
R.C. Liley: “…what else can I do?”
Larry Bernstein: “It shouldn’t be hard to ask for help.”
Joel Gratcyk: “…support and humor permeate the community.”
Ian Kobler: “Life…can change in an instant.”
William Peebles: “…don’t just stand around and do nothing…”
Dan Poore: “It’s time for me to do my part.”
Daniel De Guia: “Helping others was just what you did.”
Henry Elliss: “…we need to stop standing around…”
Chris Routly: “It’s the little things, man.”
Adam Black: “We share a common bond.”
Carl Wilke: “…do it out of the goodness of your heart.”
Eric Boyette: “…we are with you. Take a hand.”
Chris Nichols: “I get by with a little help from my friends.”
Trey Burley: “…get off the sidelines and help…”
Mike Heenan: “Born of this tragedy…was beauty.”
Chris Bernholdt: “Sometimes, you just can’t do it alone.”
Lorne Jaffe: “…magic happens when you stop being a bystander.”
Michael Bryant: “Don’t feel like what you give is too little.”
John Joyce: “Act when and where there is a need.”
Doug Zeigler: “We want to soften the hammer blow…”
Joshua Wilner: “…I can shoulder some of the load…”
John Taylor: “We aren’t superheroes and gods.”
Francis Linardo: “…I can’t sit this one out.”
Mike Reynolds: “You can cry on my shoulder if you need to.”
Jeffrey Tepper: “This is a long and hard fight…”
Pierre Calzadilla: “Faith – without action – is dead.”
Tom Burns: “…it’s time we returned the favor.”
Leo Downey: “Get off the sidelines and into the game.”
http://www.lifein140.com/asking-for-help/: “It is time for me to get vulnerable…”
Mike Julianelle: “Everybody needs a hand sometimes…”
Aaron Gouveia: “…time is a gift.”
…and the wave continues…