We are so busy we hardly have time to look at the people we love, even in our own household, and to look at ourselves. Society is organized in a way that even when we have some leisure time, we don’t know how to use it to get back in touch with ourselves. We have millions of ways to lose this precious time — we turn on the TV or pick up the phone, or start the car and go somewhere. We are not used to being with ourselves, and we act as if we don’t like ourselves and are trying to escape from ourselves. Meditation is to be aware of what is going on — in our bodies, in our feelings, in our minds, and in the world …” – Thich Nhat Hahn
The holidays have come and gone. What we call the “time of giving” has swept past, and we have moved into a new year. Sometimes it is hard to remember that the act of giving can continue on past the festivities and traditions of the holidays. With the economic state, maybe giving will take on a new meaning. This is an opportunity to give in a way that is quiet and without expectation. What if we wake up and decide to be kind and helpful to as many people as we can in that one day, every day throughout the year?
Our daughter was given an assignment in school to perform random acts of kindness and to keep track of them. Recently, we got two feet of snow; it was a state of emergency. It took us a day, but we did shovel ourselves out. Our daughter took her shovel and went to the neighbor to see if she could help to shovel them out. The ripple effect of that kindness is tangible. So, why don’t we all make it our assignment? As Mother Teresa says, we need to do small things with great love.
Rodney’s mom was in her last weeks, and a friend who had recently lost her mother gave us the best advice. She said, “Give what is the most difficult to give: your time. It’s all she really wants.” We did listen to this advice, and it really was for the best. Rod’s mom passed away a couple of weeks ago, and we will never forget the time that we got to spend with her. It was truly a gift.
Our busyness has become chronic. What are we going to do with this one precious life? If we don’t stop and get to know ourselves and realize what is precious, we will die without having lived — what a wasted opportunity. One of the best ways that we know of to get to know yourself and then act accordingly is to stop and sit. Meditation will give us perspective. And it doesn’t cost anything.
Starting now, let’s perform random acts of kindness. Let’s step off the treadmill and sit quietly with ourselves, and then give the gift worth giving and that is our precious time. Let’s spread the love.