There are special souls born of compassion and placed into the lives of others for a special reason. They not only see their glass as half full, they are happy to give you their half just to fill yours up.
Their gift is to give. Pleasure is found in the ability to enrich the lives of others while asking nothing in return. Their purpose is well defined by the lives they lead.
“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”
–Robert Louis Stevenson
In the mirror they see an ordinary person. In their actions they sense comfort and peace that only comes from following their natural path. They don’t feel as if they are special and they don’t need the recognition of others to know the value of self-worth.
They are not found on the forefront of life’s stage, they toil in the wings; their only goal to assure that all others have the performance of a lifetime.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
They generate kindness and encourage consideration for others; helping us to realize we all have our struggles and the journey we travel is difficult if attempted alone.
They don’t wait until Christmas or other holidays to give because they must breathe to live, and giving of themselves is the breaths they take each day.
“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
-John Andrew Holmes
Holidays are great times to feel that giving spirit rejuvenated, but I like to think about how wonderful the coming year will be if that same spirit is kept alive long after the holidays are gone.
“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’”
I’ve never met a truly happy “taker.” I’ve never met a truly unhappy “giver” either. If my goal is success and happiness, it appears the intelligent road to take is the one that does not try to travel on the backs of others, but rather helps to clear the way for them to proceed.
As the New Year approaches I want to make certain I keep focus on the proven promise by a man who demonstrated its effectiveness may times over;
“You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
The sky is clear and the sun is shining. Weather experts tell me there is a chance of rain, but I just can’t see that happening today.
As the day progresses, white cotton-soft clouds start to appear on the horizon. Floating high above the horizon, effortlessly dancing in sea-blue sky. More clouds, yes, but a storm coming? I don’t see how it could be possible.
The clouds start to band together in rough and tumble groups. Fluffy white pillows of moisture begin to push together into light grey gatherings. The blue sky is now the minority here, giving up to the darkened coverings.
The wind is picking up. Rumor has it that the weather could get a little rough, but I just don’t see it. From my perspective things don’t look that bad.
I can’t see the sky anymore. The once white-grey clouds are all grey now and getting darker. On the horizon, it looks like there may be some rain starting. We could use a little rain, and a shower will make the greenery happy.
Folks are saying that a thunderstorm is in the future, but I just don’t see it happening. This rain looks gentle. The wind isn’t that bad. I’m sure it will pass.
Things are getting darker now. The sun is nowhere to be found. I think I heard a little thunder in the distance and the gentle rain on the horizon is now much closer. It looks like it’s coming down a bit harder too. There was something on the radio about a storm warning, but I just don’t see it getting that much worse. I close my eyes and begin to feel the wet rain falling on my skin. This feels nice. Why would anyone be worried about a little rain?
It only takes a few moments for the horizon to suddenly disappear. The sky is black. The wind is howling. The needled rain hurts as it pelts exposed skin. It doesn’t feel so nice any more. A flash of blinding light appears with a deafening crack. Scared is relative. Frightened beyond belief is more appropriate. Where did this storm come from? Why didn’t anyone warn me that things would be this bad? I’m wet. I’m cold. I’m stranded out here, exposed and alone. Why me? I can’t possibly survive!
I hear a voice through the raging storm, and follow the sound to the shelter of a poorly lit enclave. Still cold, still wet, but no longer exposed to the elements. The fear starts to subside. A fellow traveler who was caught in the same surprise storm I was emerges from the darkness.
Interesting; his view of the storm is different. He says he knew of the storm approaching well before it arrived. He says it was predicted and ample warning was broadcast to all. The sudden changes that happened around him weren’t a surprise to him. Huh. I wonder how I missed that?
Could it be that I have become I am a member of that not-so-elite group? Have I joined the folks with the narrowing world view? Am I so focused on myself that I just ignore the world around me until being forced to pay attention, and even then still missing the big picture because I’m so wrapped up in just what happens in my own little world space? No wonder life is not as exciting and full of wonderment as I remembered it in the past!
I think I might try harder to give more notice to my surroundings and be mindful of things other than just myself. It is so true that a happy life cannot be lived fully in a vacuum. Care to join me?
♦Photo Tip♦ Sometimes cloudy days are the best type of day to go out and take pictures. No harsh shadows. The clouds will act like a giant diffusion filter and cast a soft light on subjects giving them a more even tone. The rain doesn’t have to be the enemy either; we just have to be careful about wet cameras and lenses. I use a cheap disposable shower cap to cover the camera on drizzly days-the kind you might find in a hotel room. It will cover the camera without covering the front of the lens. A soft lens cloth to intermittently clean the drops from the front keeps the pictures crisp.