Sometimes things happen when you least expect it. You get a new job offer out of the blue. You meet a romantic interest at the oddest moment. You read an article that prompts you to start a new hobby.
But sometimes things that happen when you least expect it can change lives for millions of people. That’s what happened to my brother Jordan recently. He is a stress coach
, as well as author and founder of the wildly popular podcast The Chill Factory. What began as a small project as a favor to a stranger has turned into an international effort that could help tens of thousands of people.
Jordan received an email from a trauma treatment specialist in Poland who is now helping Ukrainian women and children as they cross the border into his country. It turns out this specialist is a Chill Factory podcast listener and he asked Jordan if he would donate his online video training session and its stress reduction app to his small team of volunteers so they can teach stress techniques to refugees and other volunteers. Jordan was happy to do anything he could to bring a little calm to Ukrainians and the trauma specialists in the midst of this humanitarian catastrophe.
That small donation has now sparked a much larger effort to quickly develop customized training and other stress reduction support that can be made directly available to thousands of refugees and volunteers inside and outside Ukraine! Feeling helpless until this request, he put everything including work on hold to devote every waking hour to develop www.fundrazr.com/calmforukraine
The website that is dedicated to giving peace to Ukrainians and volunteers is on its way to raise $50,000.00 or more. Jordan has pledged to donate ten video sessions and rapid relaxation apps to Ukrainians, their families, and volunteers for every dollar donated. That means his group will make 50,000 Quick Calm sessions and apps available if they reach this objective. Since nearly 10 million Ukrainians have been displaced to date, exceeding this goal will mean that even more will be able to find a little peace during this terrible time.
While money is critical to the Ukrainian struggle, the effort of others like my brother help fill a desperate desire so many of us have to help but don’t know how. Simply forwarding this article or website link directly or through social media can have an enormous impact. For me, writing this column to share with readers is my small way of making a difference.
Years ago, a mentor told a younger me that “every experience prepares you for the next.” At that time, I though her advice was so illuminating. The younger me began to realize failures and rejections were important to grow and move forward and can happen in the most unexpected ways. As examples:
- If I hadn’t been a city reporter who saw life’s suffering on a regular basis, I may not appreciate how I live as much as I do.
- If I hadn’t shown up at an event I desperately tried to get out of, I would not have met my husband.
- If I hadn’t joined a professional group, I wouldn’t have met the women who pushed me to write a book.
Sometimes it’s about being in the right place at the right time. Yet, it’s also about being present and open to what the universe may send your way. In Malcom Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, he contends that social epidemic results from a combination of seemingly arbitrary contextual details and the actions of a few key types of people.
Look no further than the recent pandemic to see how the efforts of so many researchers and scientists saved lives. Or how the generosity of total strangers following the devastation of hurricanes and tornadoes can make such a difference.
Maybe in his own way my brother is one of those people who not only recognizes the importance of helping others but seizes moments in a selfless way to make a difference for others. In this case, giving back to give peace and calm to Ukrainians and volunteers likely gives him momentary peace and calm during an intolerable chaotic time where relief is hard to come by.