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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Super Duper Friend Series - Mandy

Yesterday, I mentioned that I have a really hard time writing thank you notes . Not because I am not eternally thankful, but because I am just really, really weird about it. It's like OCD for "Thank You" cards.

Acceptance is the first step, my friends. And it upsets me to no end when my friends are so ahead of the curve than me.

Who do they think they are? Did they even wait till I backed out of their driveway before they pulled out the fancy stationary? What kind of stunt are they pulling? Seriously.


John will usually get the mail and bring it in and say - "Oh look, we got something from Ms. Perfect our friend."

No. That can't be right, I will shake my head. That would mean they sent out the card in less than two days. I try to do the math which often means holding up my fingers and trying to count out loud at the same time. Math is not my forte so I sometimes have to re-start my counting.

By the time I get the math straight, I am like WTF? "No Way!" I think I am close to 2 months delinquent in some cases.

So it is obvious my friends are out to make me feel inferior just really good, considerate people.

The other day, we received such a note from our friend Mandy.

No that's not a Calvin Klein ad. That's Mandy. I know.

WTF? She's beautiful to boot.


Mandy was saying "Thank You" for a donation that we made for an amazing cause that she will be participating in. She must have sent the "Thank You" card the same day we made the donation which
really just irked me just shows how amazing she is.

Mandy is a successful lawyer who wants to make a difference in the world. She is a "nice lawyer." I know that this is hard to believe, but I do have friends who are "nice lawyers." (It's weird saying it though, right? Just try it. See what I mean? Weird.)

Well, in all honesty, Mandy is just an amazing human being. She far exceeds being a "nice lawyer." She will be traveling next year to an undisclosed location in South Asia to accept a legal fellowship with an organization called the International Justice Mission (IJM).

Now, I can't do justice to what Mandy will be doing abroad, so let me take an excerpt from the letter she had first sent when she told everyone about this journey she planned to embark upon. Her eloquence kind of needs its own space.

I will spend the year working with IJM to secure legal protection for trafficked women and children – as young as four –who are held in the bondage of forced prostitution in the region’s infamous brothels, and to secure the conviction and sentencing of the sex traffickers who brutalize women and children for profit. In the eleven years since IJM’s founding, the organization has secured freedom for hundreds of women and children held as sex slaves in the cruel reality of human trafficking. IJM’s investigators document undercover evidence of trafficking and sexual exploitation, its lawyers secure justice against perpetrators, and its social workers provide aftercare services to heal survivors and teach them skills needed for economic independence.


Mandy will be leaving behind everything she knows for a year to help make this world a better place. Really. Not like me who thinks that smiling at my Barrista at Starbucks and tipping them an extra buck is making the world a better place.

She IS REALLY DOING IT.

How brave is that? Sometimes, I get thrown by having to leave the comfort of what I know. "It's going to be hard to travel to NJ with two kids for the holidays!" I tell John. We sigh and lament the how hard it's all going to be.

Hmmm. Maybe so. But my friends, there are people who come into our lives everyday to make us realize what is out there beyond the microcosm of our neat, perfect, structured little worlds.

People like Mandy inspire me to be a better human being. I know that she will touch the lives of many young girls on this amazing journey. These young women will be blessed to have someone like Mandy in their corner.

Every child in the world deserves to have someone like Mandy in their corner.

One of my favorite quotes from Gandhi is "We must be the change we wish to see in the world." Thanks for being living proof that there are people who live, breathe, dream and actually DO so big.

The change.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a woman named Betty Makoni, a woman who represents the face of what a HERO is today. Mandy's sister and I were both talking about it and she said something really astute. (To everybody out there, Glennon is one of my favorite people in the world too. Another day, another post. In the meantime, visit her over at Momastery).

In my post, I stated that Betty is the force that will get the women she is helping through their torment in the
absence of divine intervention. No, Glennon said, maybe Betty IS the divine intervention who is helping make the lives of these women a little brighter one day at a time. That we ALL are supposed to be the divine intervention like Betty Makoni.

Maybe, I said.

Apparently Mandy got the memo.

I told Mandy sometime ago that I was going to teach her to curse in Hindi. Huh? You might ask. But just so you know, I often offer this to many of my friends because I think it's a valuable skill to be able to list on a resume. (call me if you want to learn. I'm always here to help). However, before I start with my Hindi cursing lesson, I wanted to teach her a powerful word that I think is important for every human to know.

Namaste. Made popular by yoga instructors all over the world, many people say it without knowing what it means. In Sanskrit it translates to "In you I see the divine."

Namaste, Mandy. We wish you all the luck in the world on your incredible journey. You will be able to see that divinity in each of these girls that you help. Their lives will be much richer for it. And I see that same divinity in you and am so proud of you for embracing it.

Do you see it too?

TO ALL MY FRIENDS WHO WANT TO HELP RAISE SOME MONEY FOR THIS AMAZING CAUSE, PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK. To donate directly to Mandy, just send me an email and I will hook you up with her information.


And just know, I may never send any of you a Thank You message on time, but in every act of grace and love you perform, I am always blown away.

Friends, Namaste to you ALL.
XOXO,
Kiran

7 comments:

Nick said...

Wow that's awesome. I actually have known about and been (slightly) involved with IJM for many years now. They really, really do powerful work,
and just a few brothels shut down and arrests made in one region normally sends a strong enough message that many, many others shut their doors rather than risk prosecution. Anyways, again, that's awesome. Thanks for sharing.

Lburke said...

Thanks so much Kiran for informing me about this wonderful cause! I wish Mandy the very best of luck as well.

Masala Chica said...

Nick - It is awesome, isn't it? That's wonderful that you have worked with IJM before - I only learned about it from Mandy and am obviously 100% a fan and will do what I can to support the organization.

Laura - thank you for your wishes for Mandy - I know she will appreciate it! Thanks also for your support of my writing :-)
Kiran

lacochran said...

Great post. And I do think "smiling at my Barrista at Starbucks and tipping them an extra buck" IS making the world a better place. Change happens person to person and you are doing a lot just by being a positive force in the place you are!

Plus, you need some new low-life friends.

Masala Chica said...

You are right lacochran. Every act of kindness does make the world a better place. seriously - when someone is mean to me or rude to me on the road - it makes such a difference in my whole attitude. But then I flip them the bird and I usually feel ok.

But see - i don't think mandy does that kind of stuff. she probably smiles at the rude person and says a prayer for them. after she send her next thank you note.

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

oh man. I aspire to be like the Mandy's of the world...

And can you add me to that fancy little phone tree to leand some proper Hindi cuss words? Thanks.

Masala Chica said...

Monique - tomorrow will be your first lesson. I am on it!

 

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