A Caring Heart

Lou Xiaoying made a living out of combing through rubbish piles in the city of Jinhua in China.  She would recycle items in the rubbish that had value.  In 1972, she found a baby girl in the rubbish.  She couldn’t just leave her there, so she took her in and raised her.

As time went on, Lou found what is believed to be more than 30 more babies.  She and her husband kept four of the babies.  The others were placed in loving homes.  Lou has one biological daughter who has devoted her life to caring for the abandoned babies.  Lou and her husband lived in a modest home (he died in the late 1990s) and have very limited money.  But what they lack in material items, they have led the way in humanitarian efforts.

Lou, at the time of this message, is dying from kidney failure.  But she hasn’t given up on her rescue efforts.  When she was 82, her youngest son was found in a dust bin.  She and her daughter are his caregivers.

Lou is revered in her local community, and her humanitarian efforts have become recognized throughout China, but there are too many abandoned babies to save them all.

The measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable.  Humanitarian efforts are often in defiance of governmental mandates.  The abandonment of babies in China is a direct result of the one child/family mandate by the government.  The treatment of children arriving at the borders of the U.S. are the result of our immigration policies.  The genocide in hot spots throughout the world are largely ignored.  Over 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda while the rest of the world watched.  Similar atrocities continue today in other places.

Think of what a woman living in poverty could do.  Now imagine what each of us can do to protect the vulnerable.  This may seem to be a daunting challenge, but it isn’t so daunting when you bring it to scale.  Imagine reaching out to those we know who are struggling.  How might we support those who might need our caring and guidance?  Can we be influential on our local communities to provide greater support for the vulnerable?  There are lots of ways that each of us can become a humanitarian, but it all starts with a caring heart like Lou Xiaoying’s.

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“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

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