October 6, 2021
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
Things are better. My family is doing well and autumn has begun to paint its colorful landscape. What is also great uis how my fellow senior living residents care for each other. I think the following story explains how caring for others can do so much for our own well being,
I know you by heart
I recently heard someone say, ‘What you do for others you do also for yourself.’
I was confused at first, because it almost made me feel selfish. I mean, I love doing things for other people, but my wife told my recently that I always put others first. She was saying that was one of my faults. I needed a little more ‘me’ in my efforts to change the world.
I visit people in nursing homes, retirement and senior centres. I love to spend time with older folks. It’s like mining for gold. They have been down the road ahead of me and I want to know what they have learned so that I make the right choices.
A speaker at a conference I attended many years ago asked, ‘Where do you think the most valued real estate is in the world.’ Hands went up and offered big city names, resorts in development and exotic locations around the world.
‘Nice try,’ he said. ‘The most valuable real estate are the cemeteries. Buried there are dreams that might have changed the world, perhaps cures for major diseases that were never developed and people who could have made a difference in your life but never took the chance. What happened? No one listened.’ I listen, I encourage, but I don’t realize the value of what I do or understand the impact.
It was during a recent visit to a new facility that I realized that my efforts made a difference in the lives of those I met. ‘How are you today?’ I heard someone ask.
I turned around and scanned the room to see who was speaking. ‘I heard the voice of an angel!’ I said smiling. ‘Where are you?’
Then I heard a faint laugh in the corner. ‘Oh, there you are. I am so lucky to find you today,’ I said.
She was seated on an old Victorian looking couch. It reminded me of the furniture in my mother’s living room. We could only sit on it when company came. So, I jumped at the opportunity to sit next to this wonderful woman. Her hair was white and neatly brushed with an occasional wave gently reflecting the light from the nearby window. Her hands crossed on her lap resting on top of a knitted pink blanket that covered her legs. Two practical looking walking shoes peeked out at the bottom and a wooden cane was placed within her reach nearby.
‘It’s good to see you,’ she said. ‘I love when you come to visit.’ I was a bit surprised to hear her say that. I had never been here before. Maybe she was transferred her from another place and she remembered me.
‘It’s good to see you, too,’ I said.
‘You always brighten my day,’ she added. I sat quietly for a moment trying desperately to remember if we had met before. I really love to remember names. It makes people feel good when you remember.Then I asked, ‘When was the last time I saw you?’
She turned her head away for a moment and then looking back at me, she said, ‘Oh, we’ve never met, you and I. But I know you by heart.’
How curious. We never met, but she knows me by heart.It must have been the look on my face that caused her to explain further. ‘There is something about people like you. You are the ones who carry the world on your back. When you walk in a room you make us smile. When you touch my hand I can feel the warmth in your heart. People like you bring flowers, music and sunshine. Even when you bring nothing at all, you leave so much behind’ I was humbled and at a loss for words.
‘My, I thank you for saying that,’ I said. ‘When you said, I know you by heart, I naturally felt like I must have met you before.’
‘I know you by heart, because I always did the same thing. I always put others first,’ she said. There it was again. ‘Putting others first.’
Then I shared, ‘I heard someone say – what you do for others you do also for yourself.’ ‘I am living proof of that,’ she said. ‘You see, after all that time, after all that caring it all came back to me. People like you now visit me and I know you by heart.’
Written by Bob Perks
Always have a willing hand to help someone, you might be the only one that does.
Roy T. Bennett
He says this is what we really mean:
“I can’t find it.” MEANS: It didn’t fall into my outstretched hands, so I am completely clueless.
“That’s women’s work.” MEANS: It’s difficult, dirty, and thankless.
“Will you marry me?” MEANS: Both of my roommates have moved out, I can’t find the washer, and there’s no milk left.
“It’s a guy thing.” MEANS: There’s no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance at all of making it logical.
“Can I help with dinner?” MEANS: Why isn’t it already on the table?
“It would take too long to explain.” MEANS: I have no idea how it works.
“I’m getting more exercise lately.” MEANS: The batteries in the remote are dead.
“We’re going to be late.” MEANS: I have a legitimate reason for driving like a maniac.
“Take a break, honey, you’re working too hard.” MEANS: I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner.
“That’s interesting dear.” MEANS: Are you still talking?
“Honey, we don’t need material things to prove our love.” MEANS: I forgot our anniversary again.
“You expect too much from me.” MEANS: You expect me to stay awake?
“It’s really a good movie.” MEANS: It’s got guns, knives, fast cars, and half clothed women.
“You know how bad my memory is.” MEANS: I remember the words to the theme song of F-Troop, the address of the first girl I kissed, and the vehicle identification number of every car I’ve ever owned, but I forgot your birthday.
A Doctor’s secretary called an old farmer out my way and said: “Your check came back.”
The old man replied, “So did my arthritis.”
Bob is a favorite conductor among commuters on the Long Island Rail Road. He has great rapport with the regulars, but occasionally runs into a problem rider. One passenger, for instance, seemed irritated at having to hand over his ticket to be punched.
“Where are you going today?” Bob asked, smiling.
“Well, what does the ticket say?” replied the traveler sarcastically. “Um, it says you’re on the wrong train,” Bob informed him.
“What am I supposed to do now?” asked the flustered passenger.
Returning the punched card, Bob replied calmly, “Ask the ticket.”
“If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved.”
In the same vain, an executive of a company I once worked for told me that he “would rather have an imperfect Christmas Tree in mid-December than a perfect tree in mid-January.” His words have stuck with me ever since. How often do we withhold something of value because it is not yet perfect? In my experience we often find that others can fine tune our work and perfection soon comes after we have made a timely release of something of value.
“If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?”
In case any of you are still thinking about picking a vacation spot, be aware of the following advertising lingo:
Old world charm ~ No bath
Tropical ~ Rainy
Majestic setting ~ A long way from town
Options galore ~ Nothing is included in the itinerary
Secluded hideaway ~ Impossible to find or get to
Pre-registered rooms ~ Already occupied
Explore on your own ~ Pay for it yourself
No extra fees ~ No extras
Nominal fee ~ Outrageous charge
Standard ~ Sub-standard
Deluxe ~ Standard
Superior ~ One free shower cap
All the amenities ~ Two free shower caps
Plush ~ Top and bottom sheets
Gentle breezes ~ Occasional Gale-force winds
Light and airy ~ No air conditioning
Picturesque ~ Theme park nearby
Open bar ~ Free ice cubes
We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
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