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Time for a reality check

I had the opportunity with the Maryland State Bar Association Young Lawyers Section to volunteer last month at a Baltimore soup kitchen that provides meals and shelter to homeless women. It was a day after some of the protests and unrest in Baltimore in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death. As the next week unfolded and Baltimore became national news for all the wrong reasons, I thought back to the women I served that morning at the soup kitchen.

As I was arriving to start my shift, the women arrived by bus loads. Their meal was a piece of French toast and applesauce. Their conversations focused on what was happening in Baltimore and what that potentially meant for them.

The next week, some friends and colleagues on social media outlets were chiming in about the inconveniences they were experiencing as a result of what was happening in Baltimore. I am not taking it lightly that folks’ schedules were disrupted. But what concerned me was that if the city continued to experience this type of difficulty, how would it impact the homeless women I met? How were these women or anyone else were dependent on basic services going to obtain them? How were there going to get to work, stay safe during the day or get the warm meal?

It was time for a reality check. I had been having my own personal challenges that month, but as I thought of the women we served that morning, I put my life in perspective. As busy professionals, we often are blinded by our own concerns and inconveniences.

Serving others as I try to do whenever possible is my way of staying connected and why I joined this profession. I am especially grateful that I am involved with a group of lawyers such as the Young Lawyers Section who value service to our community. I hope you will join us one day.