Please excuse my being excited… everyday feels like Christmas to me. And, like Charles Dickens’ ‘Scrooge’, I just can’t help it. And like him, I don’t deserve it.
I’ve got a beautiful wife and three kids who love me – despite my worst days. Yet, that hopeful light, still within me, is less bright these days because of disappointments… both self-made and otherwise. I ask, “How could that be, and still remain happy?” Am I oblivious to people’s suffering; or, looking through rose-coloured glasses at our pandemic world? Is it right to feel up, when many are so down?
But, for lack of kindness, this is still a beautiful world, but it’s trying hard not to be. This planet and its people are like a beautiful garden that need constant care to offset the neglect and open hostility towards it. Yet, among the desperately poor and sick, it was Mother Teresa of Calcutta who said the greatest disease is that of being unwanted. Plus, what about disappointments within our own lives? According to her, much of it results from selfishness: selfish with our time, our money, our love – always wanting our own sweet way.
I’ll never be a saint or a shaker-and-mover in the world at large, yet the crazy thought I still might, betrays me. But, I can be kind and forgiving – to family, friends and strangers – not expecting anything in return. I guess that’s doing something. For one thing, it’s making me happy. And, like Christmas, every new gift of good will – given or received – is special.
However, one of my long past regrets, involved my days with Dale Carnegie – a great organization that offers human relations training programs on getting along with others. Since I had taken the program years earlier, and believed in its worth, I thought I would be a natural fit. The problem was that the local franchisee was someone who didn’t appreciate my approach to business, and vise-versa. So, after months of trying everything to build common ground, I finally quit. My choice. Yet, something I never wanted to do.
The irony of the situation was not lost on me. But after a while, the resultant negativity just took on a life of its own… allowing this toxicity to infect my family and, ultimately, my vision. Like children, some falls hurt more than others; yet, lessons must be learned. If all this was a test, I obviously didn’t pass the audition. Under the circumstances, perhaps no one could.
Committing to doing things differently is only the first step. Finding how you can help the aggrieved, with kindness, is the real magic. Sometimes, life may feel like you’re caressing a porcupine, but that’s the real risk if we want to make a positive difference. It may be, I’m an acquired taste… maybe, I should just shut up and listen. Sure. However, some people try to coverup a multitude of sins by saying, “It’s just business.” But, as Scrooge was reminded, mankind is our business – nothing else. And, if it all gets to be too much, we can always remind ourselves what’s at stake: our true net worth… where every day’s a gift!
“Lord give me the eyes to see exactly what it’s worth,
And I will be the richest man on earth.”– Richest Man on Earth by Paul Overstreet