For each issue of Usona Esperantisto I try to write a motivational and newsworthy article that relates closely with our Esperanto projects, goals, and vision. That is a difficult task for me right now. How does it all relate? We are experiencing historical events. Upheavals wrack the world. How much distraction and interruption can we endure? What is next?
Here in Texas, we have emerged from a devastating winter storm. Other regions have experienced it also. People have suffered from lack of electricity, lack of potable water, and frozen water pipes. Homes and businesses have been flooded. The storm began with a terrible 135-car accident caused by the dreaded black ice. Neighborhood stores are either closed or have nearly bare shelves.
And then there is the COVID-19 pandemic. The stories abound.
But I want to write about the other side of the news.
Normally there are reports of wild riots and looting during a crisis such as this, but we see no reports of riots or looting.
We noticed neighbors taking care of neighbors. People were checking on each other to see if they had warmth, food, and electricity. There were people opening their homes and offices to friends and to total strangers. People offered hot meals and safe drinking water to those in need. We have opened “warming centers,” designated places where people could escape the freezing cold. The city and neighborhoods coordinated to set up more homeless centers.
It affected us all. As pains ran through our being, people reached out to others.
A driver noticed a tent with all the earmarks of being a homeless shelter. He stopped his car and checked on the homeless person. Then he went to fetch food to bring back to him. People went the extra mile despite the bitter cold.
A crowded grocery store lost power and could not process the sales. The store manager let the people leave with what they needed without paying. And the people began paying it forward.
There are now teams of people assembling “flood buckets” and going into neighborhoods to assess the needs. The work continues in a spirit of neighborliness, cooperation, and generosity.
What does this have to do with Esperanto?
People are caring about other people, regardless of who they are, regardless of their age, color, creed, language, gender, politic, educational level, or status in society. People are crossing the barriers that might normally separate one class from another. These are people with a green heart, La Verda Koro. Some of them might already be “Esperanto speakers” but simply have not yet learned the language.
Through all the disruptions and crises that we face, we are reminded of our strong friendships in Esperanto. When I get messages from people asking how Beth and I are doing, my heart is touched by the kindness and thoughtfulness of friends we have met by means of Esperanto. When I see people helping one another in times of need, I am refilled with hope. I am reminded of our great family circle in La Espero:
La Espero (lasta strofo) de L. L. Zamenhof:
Sur neŭtrala lingva fundamento,
komprenante unu la alian,
la popoloj faros en konsento
unu grandan rondon familian.
Nia diligenta kolegaro
en laboro paca ne laciĝos,
ĝis la bela sonĝo de l’ homaro
por eterna ben’ efektiviĝos.
See you at the LK!! Ni vidos vin ĉe la LK de Esperanto USA!! June 12-19, 2021.