Momento Espírita
Curitiba, 25 de Junho de 2018
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ícone A friendly word

He is an 82 year-old Australian. His most valuable work tool is a pair of binoculars.

With that, plus a friendly talk, he managed to save no less than four hundred people from the clutches of suicide.

When conducting his 401st rescue he was interviewed by the BBC Brazil and explained his activity.

He is a retired life insurance broker. He has been monitoring for five years on a voluntary basis the movement on the cliff The Gap, near his home on the outskirts of Sydney.

The average annual suicide rate in the cliff is fifty people. And Donald Ritchie, who has received the nickname of guardian angel, stays tuned. Basically, his work is to observe.

Whenever he sees someone out there, very thoughtful, or surpassing the security ropes, he walks over to the person and starts talking.

It is not uncommon to invite the person for a coffee at his home. This is one of his preferred methods.

And with coffee, he offers a smile, a kind word, a friendly talk. As he narrates, he can often cause the person to change his mind.

For all this dedication, Ritchie has received many expressions of gratitude and affection. Letters, paintings and other treats have been left on his doorsteps.

Naturally, he can not have total success, but the accounting of 401 people saved thanks to his performance, is a significant milestone.

As this retired Australian, how many of us can do good without going far from our home, or our neighborhood.

So often we idealize ourselves being missionaries in distant lands or to render services in this or that international organization.

And yet, right next to us, there is so much to do. Many questions require us to take action.

We should ask ourselves what we can do that has not been done and has to be done urgently in our block, in our neighborhood, or in our city.

There are many examples like students, housewives, and professionals using their leisure hours to serve others.

Like young men and women that go to poor communities seeking to offer school tutoring or play sports with children, removing them from the streets.

Housewives that are organized into teams to meet people from the neighborhood who face long illness and have no family close by.

Or mothers who work outside the home and need someone to take care of their children for a few hours after they return from school.

A detail here and there. How many blessings!

Some save lives like Donald Ritchie. Others can save people from illiteracy, serving as bridges between the illiterate and the school.

Or save someone lonely and desperate who would just like to have someone to talk to.

Think about it and let us be willing to offer our kind word, a helping hand, and our active presence.

Spiritist Moment Team, based on the article Contra o suicídio,
uma palavra amiga, of the bulletin Serviço Espírita de Informações,
 nº 2182, from 15.06.2010, published by the International Spiritist Council.
May 3.2016.

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