The daily emails arrive in my inbox via hungersite.org. Advertisers pay to display their goods and services, and visitors can click a button for free to donate food to the hungry through this non profit. Once the patron clicks, a message appears that states : "Thank you. Your click counted." The hungersite is one of many sites at greatergood.org.
A cynic might lament that there is no way to know whether we are truly helping to feed the hungry or whether we are simply feeding Google. A critic might argue that it's better and more effective to give in another way. A person of faith trusts that a click is better than not acknowledging the need. And so, I click. Daily. Even on the days when I feel frustrated and annoyed. Especially on the days when the needs and hurts of so many overwhelm my heart. My clicks are symbolic, a pledge to step into the day doing what I can to make my time here count.
Working with people who are dying has taught me so much about living. Whether we are hugely successful in the eyes of others, whether everything we touch seems to turn to gold, or whether we make mistakes, we all want the same thing in the end. We all want to know that our click counted. My kids remind me that our clicks aren't always what we believe them to be. They aren't necessarily the trips to Disney or the times we've swept in with generous financial support. They aren't the awards, the accolades, the big moments. Most often our clicks are the staycations during which we watched movies and built bonfires. They are the smiles, the embraces, the simple gestures that lighten someone's heart. Our clicks taken at face value may seem fleeting to the cynical and pointless to the sorrowful. But those single clicks add up over time. Those simple gestures say "I love you", "I'm sorry", "I care", "I notice", "thank you".
As one of my favorite students left class today, she embraced me and told me how happy she was that she found my classes and how saddened she is by my closing. She took the time to tell me that our time together made a difference in her life. She told me I've helped bring peace to her heart. She told me that my click counted. I let her know that hers did, too.
So what will you do when that email lands in your inbox? When you see sorrow in someone's eyes? When you worry that the little bit you can offer to help someone isn't enough? I don't often give advice, but if asked I'd tell you to risk it. Click. Smile. Reach. Touch. Step forth into the day knowing that again and again, your click counted.