I understand that I am here today because of a conspiracy of love. I am here because of people whose names I don’t even know, who struggled for me, who fought for me, who cheered me on. I will remember that always.
We are a nurturing community where we can build on your strengths and feel successful and safe. You will be faced with innumerable choices; and the way you respond to these choices will shape your life.
In this community, let us remember to stay open to the MAGIC, as brought to you in 5 simple illustrations.
1. Be Mindful.
A young boy was picking up starfish stranded on the shore and throwing them into the sea.
A man who was watching him asked him as to what he was doing.
To this, the boy answered, “I am helping these starfish get back to where they came from”
“But there were thousands of starfish on the shore” said the man. “Do you think you will ever make a difference?”
The boy smiled, threw another starfish into the sea and said, “I made a difference to that one!”
Let us be attentive to the interests of others.
Let us watch out for each other.
2. Be Appreciative.
There were 3 stonecutters busily working on a block of stone. A traveler who was walking by asked them what they were doing. The first man replied, “I am cutting a stone”. The second man said “I am cutting this stone to fit the design, to see that the dimensions are the same”.
The traveler turned to the third stonecutter who seemed the happiest and asked him the same question.
After a pause, the man replied, “I am building a temple”
All the 3 stonecutters were doing the same thing but each looked at what he was doing differently.
Do you see the bigger picture in what you are doing?
Are you able to see significance in what you do, beyond the obvious?
Learn to view the whole and not just the parts as the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.
3. Be Grateful.
A young man while roaming the desert came across a spring of delicious crystal-clear water. The water was so sweet he filled his leather canteen so he could bring some back to a tribal elder who had been his teacher.
After a four-day journey he presented the water to the old man who took a deep drink, smiled warmly and thanked his student lavishly for the sweet water. The young man returned to his village with a happy heart.
Later, the teacher let another student taste the water. He spat it out, saying it was awful. It apparently had become stale because of the old leather container.
The student challenged his teacher: “Master, the water was foul. Why did you pretend to like it?”
The teacher replied, “You only tasted the water. I tasted the gift. The water was simply the container for an act of loving-kindness and nothing could be sweeter.”!!!
Are we grateful for the things we have received, bitter or sweet or bittersweet?
After all, gifts from the heart are really gifts of the heart!!
Research has proven that when we are grateful for the many graces that we have received, we are truly happy.
Happiness then becomes a conscious choice and not an automatic response.
4. Be Industrious.
A physically strong woodcutter started work for a timber merchant and was determined to do his best. The boss gave him an axe for his work.
The first day, the woodcutter brought 18 trees.
“Congratulations,” the boss said. “Go on that way!”
Very motivated by the boss words, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he could only bring 15 trees. The third day he tried even harder, but he could only bring 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing less and less trees.
“I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.
“When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” the boss asked.
“Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”
Remember to sharpen the axe.
Follow your passion with your eyes on the stars, but with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
5. Be Courteous.
A little boy was selling goods door-to-door to pay his way through school. He was very hungry and decided to ask for something to eat at the next house. When a lady opened the door, he lost his nerve and asked for water instead. The lady brought him a large glass of milk. She refused to take any money from him for the drink.
As Howard Kelly left that house, he felt stronger physically & emotionally, as his faith in people had been restored.
Many years later that young woman became ill and was admitted in a hospital in the city. Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he went in to see her, he recognized her at once and did his best to help in her recovery.
When the time for her release from the hospital came, the lady was apprehensive about how expensive the bill would be. But, when she received the bill, she began to read the following words: “Paid in full with one glass of milk” Signed, Dr. Howard Kelly.
Without a doubt, what goes around comes around.
Let us find reasons to be courteous and kind to one another.
In life, it is never the big battle, the big moment, the big speech, the big money that changes things. What changes things is getting up every day and doing small and random acts of kindness and love beyond that what’s expected of you or required of you.
Let us Be Mindful. Be Appreciative. Be Grateful. Be Industrious. Be Courteous.
Stay Open to the Magic.