Altruistic Dreams of The Heart, an essay by Donnalee at
Greg Bulla

Altruistic Dreams of The Heart

Altruistic Dreams of The Heart

written by: Donnalee Shapiro


So I have been dreaming of retirement for quite a while now, but more so lately. In my new retirement dream, I am doing my part to help lessen the suffering of others. We are sponsoring a scared Latina mother and her 2 children who are running to our border in the hopes of escaping from a country riddled with heinous crimes and abject poverty. This mother is begging only for asylum and a safer life for her children. I am bringing them into my home with Mitchel and together we are doing our part to help those less fortunate than us. Those who are the weakest and most preyed upon from a country we were fortunate not to have been born into. Mitch and I are giving them a hand up in their initial endeavors to fit into our country, to feel safe and to rest their weak and weary minds and bodies. To give respite, food, a spare bedroom or two, a backyard for 2 children to play in and a weary mother to watch and enjoy them without fear for the 1st time in a very long time. We would finally have a reason to clean out our closets of the many clothes we have no longer worn and give them to others who can benefit from them. Over time we will learn about each other, and from each other. We would share our beliefs and different cultures, we would cook together and eat together and we would eventually but surely, laugh together as this refugee and her children begin to feel safe once again. I dream about helping that mother soothe her babies that are most likely going to have nightmares as they sleep. Bad dreams about bad people, their long arduous journey in sweltering heat, long periods of hunger, sheer fatigue and then choking and running away from… the teargas!! In my retirement dream, I along with so many other good and decent American families, we are helping those mothers tuck in their babies in our spare bedrooms and we can hear ourselves now with our perhaps somewhat limited Spanish, trying to soothe those babies with these words, “no preocupa ninos. En este casa, todo esta bien. Nadie puede herirte aqui! Duerme bien ninas, duerme bien. En este casa, eres amado!” (Don’t worry children, in this house everything is ok. No one can hurt you here. Sweet dreams children, sweet dreams. In this house you are loved). Oh how I wish this was a retirement dream I could make come true! It’s altruism at its best, I realize that, but what is a life without a few altruistic dreams and at least a remote possibility that they could come true?



I wrote this essay several years ago when the newspaper front page had the photo of a Latina mother running from teargas being sprayed on her and her 2 young toddlers as they tried to flee the dangers of their country.

Latest posts by Donnalee Shapiro (see all)