I had an accident a week ago at my health club (Laugh. It’s okay. I get the irony.) I, unknowingly, stepped onto a treadmill that was on and moving at a fast clip. Someone had walked away without turning it off. What???
I was suddenly in a free fall tumble trying to grab something, anything, to regain some control of my body. No such luck. When I landed on the floor, one leg was twisted between two treadmills, my head hit the floor and I felt jangled. Everyone jumped off of their machines and a crowd formed with people asking a lot of questions to determine how badly I was hurt. I couldn’t really move for several minutes, but not because anything was broken. Read more
Okay, so there is an upside to being a person who didn’t see herself as generous while running an organization whose vision is To Nurture the Seed of Generosity in Every Human Heart. I became earnest in my wish to become a generous person.
I practiced a little every day, giving away some of my money to people on the street and to non-profits I loved. I also gave my time. Sometimes to people I didn’t know, sometimes to friends. I wrote a book called Being There for Someone in Grief, a labor of love. And since I was my own living experiment, I paid attention to how I felt when I was generous and when I wasn’t.
What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for others?
Yesterday I needed my friends and they needed me. It was a day when magic happened with near strangers, where the “shared world” was in high relief and it was obvious that we’re all connected in a web of wonder.
I woke up feeling unsure of myself, and as I spoke to a friend while drinking my morning coffee, I cried some. Now, one thing I have learned is that having friends who listen well and have the capacity to hold sorrow without needing to repair the problem are good as gold. And if that friend sees the beauty in you AND is outspoken about it, well, she’s a keeper.
Laurie is one of those friends and she did something remarkable for me. Read more