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Living in Boston, I found myself becoming as cold and self satisfied as that town can be. The low: On the train one day, pre-pandemic, I heard myself mumble (ALOUD!) "fucking move." When I moved to Miami, my mental health palpably changed. And I also told myself I could reinvent and get back to the best of the girl I once was. Something shifted inside and I have. I make and give out packages to individuals who appear to be without housing (water, orange, sunblock, advil, granola bar, starbucks card, lip balm). I look people in the eye and say good morning, this is for you. I assume the best and not the worst. I feel a million times better and more hopeful, even when world events leave me feeling overwhelmed. Thank you for sharing this story. XX

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Thank YOU for sharing this. Why do you think the move helped affect such a personal, important change?

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I think that sun and warmth fights a seasonal depression I didn't know I had and also makes us hurry less (trying to escape the cold) and see one another more. We are unbundled, feeling freer, taking our time. I also think there is less zoning and therefore more diversity, more interaction with different people, more languages being spoken. I could not have predicted just how impactful it would be! XO

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Apr 29, 2022·edited May 2, 2022Liked by Leandra Medine Cohen

Exactly like you ended. The hearts need to be open both ways (either from the acknowledgement of pain or by compassion) in order for help to come to being/happen.

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Hi, a few weeks ago I oppened my car window in a busy crossroad in Tel Aviv, to give a few coins to a young man that was passing between the cars, asking for handouts. I was in a hurry, waiting for a green light, but he smiled, asked me to wait a minute and pulled a flower from his pocket, handed it to me and wished me well. It was clear that even in his poor state, it was important to him to be able to give something back. The flower is dry now, sitting on my dashboard, reminding me to remember we are all humans, and how important keeping our dignity is.

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Apr 30, 2022·edited Apr 30, 2022Author

There is an amazing book called Dignity by a writer/photographer named Chris Arnade who holds a similar point of view — we’re all human and we all fundamentally seek and desire the same thing: respect. In the most tragic/grave instances, we do also need a reminder that we are in fact human. Sometimes an act of kindness from giving to even making eye contact and asking someone what their name is could be what the moment is asking for

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Andddd just discovered that he has his own newsletter: https://walkingtheworld.substack.com/

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just subscribed, thanks for adding this!

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I appreciate this post. I was recently in a similar situation and after giving I thought to myself: I have never regretted a conscious charitable act (when I am able) and it makes me feel good and connected to humanity. So why don’t I give more often? It’s so easy to do but sometimes I get overly conscious about how it will be perceived by others. I want to get to the place where it really doesn’t matter what others think, if I want to do it, I should.

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beautiful.

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I love your tiny thoughts Leandra.. giving is always contagious and it always takes one brave person to start.

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