Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
I was at a lecture given by a friend of mine a couple of days ago where a discussion took place about how many of us are discontented. Some of the anxiety was blamed on the rhetoric that is taking place in our polarized society. Too many seen to find it easy to place blame on others for everything they don’t like.
The ensuring discussion ended in agreement that we would be better off if we believed that we need each other. If we understood that than we could see the need to start to talk to each with respect and in a civil manner that would allow us to find what can bring us together instead of what is driving us apart.
Each of us can touch another if only by offering a hand shake or a smile, If we can talk to each other then we can start to build together, Here is a story that reminded me that we all have the ability to make a difference.
Three Little Words
One evening I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to finish work. Coming my way from across the parking lot, was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him he had no car, no home, no clean clothes and no money. There are times when you feel generous, but there are times that you just don’t want to be bothered. This was one of the don’t-want-to-be-bothered times! “Hope he doesn’t ask me for money,” I thought.
He didn’t. He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop and he didn’t look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus. After a few minutes he spoke. “That’s a very nice car,” he said. He was ragged, but had an air of dignity around him.
I said “Thanks,” and continued wiping off my car. He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened, something inside said, “Ask him if he needs any help.” I was sure that he would say yes, but I held true to the inner voice. “Do you need any help?” I asked.
He answered in three simple, but profound, words that I shall never forget. We often look for wisdom in great accomplishments. I expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments. I expected nothing here but an outstretched grimy hand. Then, he spoke three words that shook me. “Don’t we all?” he said.
I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day. Those three little words still ring true. No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, we all need help.
No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can GIVE help. Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that! You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all, yet in actuality they need you to give them what they don’t have – a different perspective on life, a glimpse of something beautiful, a respite from daily chaos – that only you, through a torn world can see.
Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more than that. Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise to minister to a soul too comfortable in himself.
Maybe someone looked down, called an angel, dressed him like a bum, and then said, “Go minister to that man cleaning the car; that man needs help.” Don’t we all?
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
Members of the Methodist women’s church circle were concerned because a widowed church member and her three small daughters were staying away from services. Finding the reason to be a lack of suitable clothes, the ladies’ group corrected the situation in a generous manner; they held a bake sale and used the money to buy new clothes for all the children and the mother.
When the little girls still failed to appear at Sunday School, some of the ladies called to inquire about their absence. The mother thanked them sweetly for the clothing and explained…..”The girls looked so nice, we decided to go to the Presbyterian Church down the street.”
If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a month, get married.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help others.
Standing on the tee of a relatively long par three, a confident golfer said to his caddy, “Looks like a four-wood and a putt to me.”
The caddy suggested that he instead play it safe and hit a 4-iron, then a wedge, THEN a putt.
The golfer was insulted and proceeded to scream and yell at the caddy telling him that he was a better golfer than that and how dare he underestimate his game!
Giving in the caddy handed the gentleman the four-wood he had asked for. He then proceeded to top the ball and watched as it rolled about fifteen yards off the front of the tee.
Immediately the caddy handed him his putter and said, “And now for one heck of a putt…”
“John, I can see that all your buttons are sewed on perfectly. You must be married!”
“That’s right. Sewing on buttons was the first thing my wife taught me on our honeymoon.”
At a dinner party, one of the guests, an obnoxiously loud young man, tried to make clever remarks about everyone and everything. He was served a piece of meat, he picked it up with his fork, held it up and smirked: “Is this pig?”
Another guest, sitting opposite, asked quietly: “Which end of the fork are you referring to?”
After you’ve heard two eyewitness accounts of an automobile accident, you begin to worry about history.
The woman applying for a job in a Florida lemon grove seemed way too qualified for the job. ‘Look, Miss,’ said the foreman, “Do you have any experience in picking lemons?”
“Well, as a matter of fact, yes!” she replied. “I’ve been divorced three times!”
I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
Edward Everett Hale
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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