Just Do It

Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea were on the CBS Morning Show promoting a new restaurant they have opened. It is called JBJ Soul Kitchen. It is on the campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey. Jon and Dorothea had become aware that college students often do not have enough money to eat. 

They decided to create a place with farm to table ingredients where anyone can eat. They charge $12 for a three-course meal. If one does not have the money, they are asked to contribute in other ways. They may prep food, cook food, serve, wait tables, wash dishes or clean up. Those who can afford to pay are asked to pay more to compensate for those who cannot pay. 

This is their third restaurant. The other two are also in New Jersey and were built to help those who lived in the area of Hurricane Sandy. Their venture was very successful and helped many who were in terrible shape financially. These restaurants cost $20 for those who could afford it. 

We are often aware of circumstances that can be catastrophic for people. We know about the number of homeless people on the streets. We know about those devastated by hurricanes, wildfires and earthquakes. We know about those who are stranded at borders. We know about children needing homes. We know about animals needing homes. I could go on. 

What struck me about the program about the Bon Jovis was their action. At the end of the program, Jon encouraged anyone inspired by their story to “Do it.” He said there are innumerable “its” to do. 

I am aware of those people I know personally and professionally who express concern about much that is going on around the world. We may educate ourselves about it, we may attend to the stories and keep apprised. Often, we find ourselves reflecting on an event. There is a tendency to empathize and be at a loss of what we can do. 

It is possible to take action. There are many funds created to help people and animals. I know a few people who sent money to organizations to help the animals in Australia. I think of the firefighters who went to help, those who did the same in this country when we had disasters. Some have participated at homeless shelters providing food or serving it. Some have collected clothing for veterans and hopeless people. Volunteering at a food bank or shelter provides labor that is invaluable. Offer to tutor a struggling student. 

We all feel better being involved. It surpasses a feeling of helplessness. 

I encourage you to find an “it” and reach out. 
 

Dr. Natalie Gelman is an Alameda-based therapist. Submit questions to drnataliegelman@gmail.com or through her website, www.drnataliegelman.com.