At EasePosted: June 11, 2014 Filed under: Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Amazing Arthur, blogging, family, gratitude, health, kindness, life, love, musings, nature, Omaha, perspective, Professional Showoff, The Balloon Brigade, writing 12 Comments
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle-
I want to ask you, what I feel is a very important question this lovely morning: When someone does something genuinely nice for you, how does it truly make you feel?
I like to believe that life is characterized by the small acts of kindness we do for each other, and not just during Fathers Day, or any other holiday for that matter. Yesterday when I was about three miles into my twenty-mile commute home from work, I experienced a little give and extra suppleness coming from my rear tire. It was flat, and riding a folding tire while flat is not the most prudent idea in the world. But I’m one stubborn dude, so stubborn in fact, I “conveniently” left my spare tube and pump at home – because who needs them anyways?
The first couple who stopped to offer help eased my mind going haywire trying to figure out a plan to get home. Being stubborn, I refused to take a spare tube and instead borrowed their pump for a few fleeting moments. I’m smiling now thinking how kind they were to offer help to a complete stranger on a barren and vulnerable stretch of trail.
The second lady who stopped to offer help, and whose name I forget because I am both stubborn and forgetful … Did the very same as the couple an 1/8 of a mile before. “Here, please take my spare tube.” Was answered with – No way am I taking your only spare out here – Just a little air will get me to the bike shop three miles away in Papillion, NE.
Less than a 1/2 mile walking my bike slowly down the trail, I stumbled upon a friendly dude named Arthur and his daughter riding back from the library a short distance away in town. At this point there was no way I was getting home without help – None! Swelling with pride and being stubborn don’t get you very far do they?!? As we walked back to his house, sharing one of “those” awkward conversations most of us have when we first meet someone, I sensed that this moment had happened for a reason in my life. All of it, the flat, “forgetting” my gear at home, being stubborn, swelling with pride …
When I paused last night to think about how people actually spend their time (the posts I have been sharing of late) – How much time do we spend thinking about the good things we’ve been given and how much time do we spend complaining about the things that have gone wrong? I know that I spend much of my day lamenting about the annoying cyclist and drivers during my commute, the typical Nebraska weather, a poor night’s sleep, how work has been insane of late … What Arthur and his beautiful family shared with me in the fifteen minutes we spent together, is that, perhaps a change in focus from counting burdens to counting blessings is just what I needed.
Over the course of an afternoon, a fortnight, our lives … We are not going to be able to say “thank you” for every little thing someone does for us. Although, when we are able to take a moment, to be grateful for the kindness we often overlook?
Thank you guys – Immensely – for getting me home safely, with my heart and soul swelling with gratitude!
Glad you were able to open to the assistance and see the gift in the experience.
I regularly send out emails or cards to people, to thank them, when memories come up from my past, in addition to thanking and appreciating in the moment.
I also keep a gratitude journal that i write at least 10 things in everyday.
When i’m commuting to and from work I often let people cut in line, do not block intersections and wave with all 5 fingers when someone gives me a break.
When I hear about a young child dieing needlessly I feel immense amounts of gratitute that my children have grown to young adults. I am grateful every day that they are in my life.
I know several people who have lost children. I am the lucky one.
Have you found that kindness, a smile and awareness are the best “tools” to use when commuting?
You hit me right in the ribs when it comes to children, I’m shaking my head right now thinking about the tragic moments in our lives when children are involved … I wrote long ago about stepping on Lego’s and Matchbox cars, and each time that I do, I’m so very grateful of our little dude. 🙂
I hope you guys have a great weekend in store, Sunday in particular – Take care!
My grandmother would say, “You have to be a gracious receiver as well as a giver.” You were not very gracious to the first couple of people trying to give you help. Along with thinking of ways to be grateful, you should also send out a cosmic apology…
You and your Grandma are, spot on, and what you shared with me has literally stopped me in my tracks. I’m not very gracious when others try to help me. My family is keenly aware of this. I’ve always tried to hide and mask this about me – usually by saying I’m stubborn. I want to thank you, I needed to hear this and ignoring it has left me feeling empty at times.
I read a book about gratitude one time (I really needed it because I had a lot of stupid pride). Besides the pride issue, I felt awkward and unworthy when someone offered praise or assistance. I realized that awkwardness looks at me, me, me as much as pride does.
What the book explained, and I now agree with is that by denying a gracious gift, you tell the other person they are wrong for even offering the gift in the first place.
Love your honest and heartfelt post. You got the gift after all.
I really appreciate you taking the time to share such a wonderful comment, this is something I am starting to work more on each and every day. 🙂 I hope you have a fun and relaxing weekend in store … Be well and please take care!
I got so sick of people complaining on Facebook the other day I stayed off of it for two days. I am so tired of watching people complain about what they don’t have and post some picture of how “strong” they are…I wonder how many of them would complain about the same things if they went to a country like Africa, or saw the slums of India?
I have really been looking at everything I should be grateful for. There is so much that we should be grateful for!
You make a fantastic point, yet sadly, a point that is lost in all the “noise” we choose to bathe ourselves in.
May your heart be filled with gratitude and happiness on this beautiful Friday morning – Take care!
A most excellent point. Something I remembered as I cut out all of our berber carpeting that I loved in our basement and hauled the sopping wet mess out to the curb, all day. Then dug out an earthen berm and heaved it over the fence to shore up the outside walls of our house.
At least I still have a house. It was not a tornado and I still have a house. While no one helped me, I’m thankful I didn’t need help. I am strong and I could.
I should really focus on helping others, like my amazing husband seems to always do without even a thought. That’s one thing that having kids does for you–makes you even more selfless.
Anyway, thanks for sharing. I needed that today. I don’t know that you need to send out a cosmic apology, but I bet by helping others and accept help graciously from now on, you can correct that imbalance.
🙂 Have a great weekend, my friend!
These “things” in our lives Sandra can be replaced, as hard as they may seem to do at times … You know what I am going to say next don’t you? What is so hard to replace is the love, compassion, gratitude and so many other magical aspects of our lives we share with those we love, those who fill our souls with warmth and happiness – even when dredging wet carpet from the basement.
We should talk more about this for real 😉 Like in person or something crazy like that … And if you need help, any help? I can fill the role of “project foreman” rather well. Lots of talking, pointing at things and carrying a clipboard to make it look official.
Take care, seriously, and do not hesitate to call if you need help.
When I got divorced my three girls and I lost everything ‘material’; our house, our savings… and yet I felt the richest I have ever felt and it was the greatest blessing. It’s something so many fear and yet it was so empowering. Always one, as a friend would say, to offer help first but be the last to accept it and growing up being independent (stubborn?!) makes it so tough to accept help. Something for all of us to strive towards…say ‘Yes’ more 🙂