“I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.”
Stephen Grellet (2 November 1773 – 16 November 1855), a French born Quaker missionary was the likely author, according to Wikipedia, but this quote has been attributed to William Penn, Mahatma Gandhi and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
I have long appreciated these words because they speak so clearly to a calling I heard as a child and was modeled for me by my parents who in addition to their full time jobs both in and out of the house, were dedicated life long volunteers into their 80’s. It wasn’t a sense of less- than- greater- than in terms of relationship with anyone to whom they lent a helping hand. Sometimes it was anonymous. They were also just plain kind people, smiling at ‘strangers’ on the street, laughing and playing with children who crossed their paths, offering a listening ear to anyone who happened to need it. In my childhood home in Willingboro, NJ, we had a ‘helping hand’ sign in our front window as a signal to the neighborhood kids that ours was a ‘safe house’ in case they were in any danger. When my parents retired to sunny South Florida, the children in the condo community would stop by to visit. The last Halloween my mom was alive, some of them came into her living room, dressed in costume and were greeted with a hug and candy. I was heartened by witnessing that they were more focused on time with her than the treats she gave them.
They encouraged us to be grateful for what we had and to share it when we could, whether it was material, financial or experiential.
I was on a trajectory throughout my life to become a ‘helping’ professional and these days, it takes the form of being a licensed social worker, interfaith minister, transformational writer and inspirational speaker. I am also known as the ‘go to’ person for promotion of folks’ service work in the world. On a daily basis, friends approach me with the request…”can you spread the word about my writing, music, art, cause…..?” I always say yes, simply because I can. I’m not a saint, believe me, but I also know that if I have the wherewithal to do something, and if in any way possible, I can use my gift as a connector to stir up more love in the world, then it feels incumbent on me to do so. I have many friends who feel the same way and am gratified to see them do it and delighted to see the results of their kindness. On the flip side, I have also sadly observed that out of fear of competition, there have been others who haven’t been as free with their energies. My experience has been that when one succeeds, all succeed; when one reaches a hand out, it elevates all of us. Through the years, I have been the recipient of the sweetness of ‘fairy godmothers’ and ‘fairy godfathers’ who have opened doors for me and I have willingly done the same for others. I invite you to take any opportunity to don your invisible wings and flap them in support of those who cross your path.
http://youtu.be/f2H-GiiDfnE Try A Little Kindness by Glen Campbell
Rev. Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW is a Renaissance Woman and Bliss Mistress who delights in inviting people to live rich, full, juicy lives. Edie is an internationally recognized, sought after, colorfully creative journalist, interviewer and author, a dynamic and inspiring speaker, licensed social worker, interfaith minister, offering uniquely designed spiritual rituals. In addition, she is a PR Goddess, promoting events and transformational teachers, healers, writers and artists. She speaks on the subjects of wellness, spirituality, sexuality, creativity, time management, recovery, body image, mindfulness, self esteem, stress management, re-creating yourself, caring for the caregiver, loss and grief. She is a frequent guest on radio and TV. Edie is currently writing her first best selling book entitled The Bliss Mistress Guide To Transforming the Ordinary Into The Extraordinary and is offering a workshop for women who want to re-create their lives, based on those concepts. A 20 year old journalistic vision came to pass in July of 2008 when she interviewed His Holiness The Dalai Lama. It was a potent reminder to never, ever, ever give up on our dreams. Over the years, Edie has written for mainstream and transformational publications. She has interviewed hundred of notables in the transformational fields, including Wayne Dyer, Marianne Williamson, Debbie Ford, Leonard Peltier, Shirley MacLaine, Michael Beckwith, Jonathan Goldman, Gregg Braden, Neale Donald Walsch, Mary Manin Morrissey, Dan Millman, Alan Cohen, Ram Dass, Jack Canfield, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Patch Adams, Ben and Jerry, Donna DeLory, James Twyman, Elizabeth Lesser, Michael Franti and Jean Houston. Her website is http://www.liveinjoy.org
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