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A surfer beautifully illustrated the transformative power of two simple words
Photo by Silas Baisch on Unsplash

It's easy to forget in the midst of our seemingly intractable divides, but human beings need each other. Truly.

We are social creatures, of course, but our need for human connection goes beyond family bonds and friendship and social stimulation. In times of distress especially, the simple, purposeful presence of another person can be powerfully transformative—both emotionally and physiologically.

Ryan Kuja, a surfer who also happens to be a trained therapist and theologian, shared a beautiful post that illustrates this fundamental truth.

Kuja wrote:


"Two days ago I was out surfing and a young guy, maybe 20 or so, was just inside of me by 10 yards or so. Suddenly he started yelling frantically 'Hey! Hey! Help! Help me!' As I started paddling toward him he disappeared under water for a second and resurfaced with a frantic look of terror on his face.

'The leash wrapped around my legs!' he said to me as I got to him.

'I'm here. I got you,' I said, knowing he was in sympathetic hyperarousal and his nervous system was dysregulated due to the perceived threat (being out in waves with the leash wrapped around both legs). In a few seconds his state shifted. The look on his face changed. The co-regulating process moved him from panic and survival physiology to a sense of being ok, that he wasn't in danger, it had passed.

A few years ago I was surfing on a fairly big day in Washington when I fell taking off on a wave and I heard my collar bone snap. Right up against a rock jetty in 6-8' surf, survival physiology kicked in and I paddled with my one usable arm to the beach and collapsed in terror and exhaustion.

Another surfer came up to me, looked me in the eye, put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'I'm an EMT. I'm here. I'm going to stay with you. An ambulance is on its way.' I can feel the tears well up writing this as I remember that moment. My body was going into a state of mild shock from the injury, but his calm presence allowed my nervous system to settle. His presence was co-regulating, allowing my physiology to settle a bit in the midst of a highly distressing situation.

I likely would have developed prolonged survival physiology (trauma) if he hadn't been there. His attunement didn't save my life (I had already done that by paddling in with one arm), but it saved me from the potential pitfalls of an overwhelmed nervous system that stays locked in survival mode. I surfed the same spot a few months later, nervous I was going to be triggered. I wasn't, thanks to that random stranger. I've never had triggering symptoms related to this event, something that easily--so easily--could have robbed me of my deep love for surfing and the ocean.

'I'm here.' Some of the holiest words I've ever known."

So beautiful and so true. I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere. I've got you. These simple words from the mouth of a stranger can change chaos into calm, terror into calm, trauma into comfort. How incredible is the power of human connection?

We need each other. And we need to remember we need each other.

Thanks for the reminder, Ryan Kuja.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

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Woman left at the altar by her fiance decided to 'turn the day around’ and have a wedding anyway

'I didn’t want to remember the day as complete sadness.'

via Pixabay

The show must go on… and more power to her.

There are few things that feel more awful than being stranded at the altar by your spouse-to-be. That’s why people are cheering on Kayley Stead, 27, from the U.K. for turning a day of extreme disappointment into a party for her friends, family and most importantly, herself.

According to a report in The Metro, on Thursday, September 15, Stead woke up in an Airbnb with her bridemaids, having no idea that her fiance, Kallum Norton, 24, had run off early that morning. The word got to Stead’s bridesmaids at around 7 a.m. the day of the wedding.

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How a 3,800-year-old stone tablet helped create modern legal systems

'Innocent until proven guilty' isn't that new of a concept.

Kind of looks like the Matrix code...

The modern justice system is certainly not without its flaws, however most can agree that the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” is one that (when not abused) stands as the foundation of what fair due process looks like. This principle, it turns out, isn’t so modern at all. It can actually be traced all the way back to nearly 3,800 years ago.

historyLady Justice, the image of impartial fairness. Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

English barrister Sir William Garrow is known for coining the "innocent until proven guilty" phrase between the 18th and 19th century, after insisting that evidence be provided by accusers and thoroughly tested in court. But this notion, as radical as it seemed at the time, can, in fact, be credited to an ancient Babylonian king who ruled Mesopotamia.

During his reign from 1792 to 1750 B.C., Hammurabi left behind a legacy of accomplishments as a ruler and a diplomat. His most influential contribution was a series of 282 laws and regulations that were painstakingly compiled after he sent legal experts throughout his kingdom to gather existing laws, then adapted or eliminated them in order to create a universal system.

Those laws were inscribed on a large, seven-foot stone monument, and they were known as the Code of Hammurabi.

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