President , Kindness360
President , Kindness360
Lisa Pierzakowski, Trustee
n the fall of 2016 I had the rare privilege of meeting a township trustee who puts the poor at the center of her everyday world. Her name is Lisa. Lisa Pierzakowski. A loyal wife and doting mother to three wonderful, grown children.
Lisa is a lifelong resident of La Porte. A few years ago she ran for the office of Trustee in La Porte, won hands down, and finally removed the incumbent, do-nothing-trustee, Greg Smith, who had done precious little to mitigate the suffering or neglect of the poor residents in Center Township for many, many years – instead, selfishly continuing to collect a sizeable paycheck (blind courtesy of the tax paying citizens.)
It’s nice to see Lisa is different. I genuinely love her.
I remember reading somewhere, sometime ago that true character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you. If that is true (and I certainly believe it is), my dear friend Lisa Pierzakowski espouses a truly noble character. She lives for helping others. And she doesn’t shy away from the socially “ugly” ones, either. Not like others. Even when her friends express their disbelief at her generosity toward the ostracized – like registered citizens, Lisa doesn’t turn her back on them. The Lisa I have come to know, and respect, can be found in her office six and seven days a week, into the night, while other Trustees are at home basking in their plush recliners swaddled in their fluffy blanket of government security; secure in positions that demand no accountability to the voters. But not Lisa. Lisa is the ONLY Trustee in La Porte County with a publicly listed cell phone number the poor and homeless residents can call to reach her anywhere, at almost any time. To prove my point, I have been there with Lisa when she is working late into the evening to deliver a stove to a woman with three children; and there when she is helping to find a newly released prisoner an apartment so that he would not have to spend another Indiana winter in the Michigan City homeless shelter; and there, too, when she is happily passing out Christmas presents to her township residents during the annual Toys-for-Tots campaign.
Lisa Pierzakowski thrives on serving the poor and ostracized in her community. “Ugly” is a four-letter word that has no place in her life. She can uncover the hidden beauty in anyone — just like Jesus did. That’s an astounding quality that makes Lisa so uniquely better at living a life of kindness than all the other mundane, self-righteous, egotistical Christians swarming in La Porte like a plague of locusts. She goes out of her way to make sure the poor, the disenfranchised, the ostracized, and the so-called socially ugly are taken care of and that they feel welcome in their community. Even if she struggles with acting kindly, I don’t see it. I’m sure it can’t always be easy caring for someone who appears in her office dirty and disheveled, or addicted to drugs, or pleading for financial help so that the lights don’t get turned off. But for my part, I only see her at her best.
Lisa’s life in my opinion, although she is too modest to publically agree, is quietly modeling the life of Mother Teresa, who once famously asked for people to just get busy sweeping the floor because talking about being kind, while not actually being kind, was a valuable waste of precious time. “Yes, Ma’am. I will,” should be our reply.
A Christian History Lesson, of Sorts
The Christian Lord taught over 2000 years ago, that a true believer must also be a practitioner. In the Christian practice of loving kindness, the Lord taught us the principle that unfailing acts of kindness are to be universally applied to those near and far and must be routinely demonstrated toward one’s enemy – regardless of his or her offense – with the same compassion and care the Christian would shower upon his or her family, friends, or nation. It is not good enough to merely aspire to such a virtue. Aspirations accomplish nothing. All people – including criminals, the elderly, and those considered by modern American standards to be socially “ugly” — are equally deserving of a Christian’s loving kindness. Yet, in an absurd variance on the biblical commandment to be indiscriminately kind toward others, today, modern Christian’s practice a disgusting, twisted form of Christian kindness. A disingenuous form of loving kindness that says, “Instead of being kind to people in general (i.e., General kindness Reciprocity, or loving-kindness), I will generally be kind to those who are kind to me (i.e., Balanced kindness Reciprocity, or preferential-kindness).”
Why? Most probably because of an emergence of various alternate religious doctrines and pastoral ignorance commingled with pastoral misinformation. Add to this, the unquestioning obedience of many religious flocks, and the loving-kindness (once espoused by the Lord) has been able to morph, over the past 2000 years, into this wholly Americanized form of preferential-kindness that is, today, being practiced by countless Bible believers. Meanwhile, the Christian majority piously practice loving-kindness toward only those things they have determined to be beautiful and worthy of their love – such as children, animals, and nature. Even though it is the solemn duty of every avowed Christian (regardless of creed) to engender, advocate for, and practice General kindness Reciprocity, benefiting all.
Everyone of us just need to busy ourselves in the daily practice of loving-kindness.
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