I am Good

I am Good

An African tribe does the most beautiful thing.

When someone does something hurtful and wrong, they take the person to the center of town, and the entire tribe comes and surrounds him.

For two days they’ll tell the man every good thing he has ever done.

The tribe believes that every human being comes into the world as Good, each of us desiring safety, love, peace, happiness.

But sometimes in the pursuit of those things people make mistakes. The community sees misdeeds as a cry for help.

They band together for the sake of their fellow man to hold him up, to reconnect him with his true Nature, to remind him who he really is, until he fully remembers the truth from which he’d temporarily been disconnected:

“I AM GOOD.”

Make it a point – to remind yourself who you really are, and let’s not be so quick to judge others as well.

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The Greatest Poverty

The Greatest Poverty

The greatest poverty lies in being unloved and uncared for. So many people today walk through life feeling uncared for and unloved.

One of the simplest things to do – to eradicate this kind of poverty is to be nice.

Smile, ask someone if they need help, stop and ask someone why they look so tired. It will make a world of a difference.

The folded Napkin – A Trucker’s Story

The Folded Napkin … A Truckers Story

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn’t sure I wanted one. I wasn’t sure how my customers would react to Stevie. He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued speech of Downs Syndrome.

I wasn’t worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don’t generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade. The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded “truck stop germ” the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks.

I shouldn’t have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot. After that, I really didn’t care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table.

Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag. If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That’s why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.

He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often have heart problems at an early age so this wasn’t unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine. Frannie, the head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news. Bell Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table. Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. “OK, Frannie, what was that all about?” he asked.

“We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay.”

“I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?”

Frannie quickly told Bell Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie’s surgery, then sighed: “Yeah, I’m glad he is going to be OK,” she said. “But I don’t know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they’re barely getting by as it is.” Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables.

Since I hadn’t had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn’t want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do. After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“I didn’t get that table where Bell Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off,” she said. “This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup.”

She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed “Something For Stevie.

Pony Pete asked me what that was all about,” she said, “so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this.” She handed me another paper napkin that had “Something For Stevie” scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds.

Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: “truckers.”

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work. His placement worker said he’s been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn’t matter at all that it was a holiday. He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy.

I arranged to have his mother bring him to work. I then met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back. Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn’t stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.

“Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast,” I said. I took him and his mother by their arms. “Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!”

I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room. I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins.

“First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess,” I said. I tried to sound stern. Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had “Something for Stevie” printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.

Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother.

“There’s more than $10,000 in cash and checks on table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. “Happy Thanksgiving,”

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well. But you know what’s funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table. Best worker I ever hired.

Plant a seed and watch it grow. At this point, you can bury this inspirational message or forward it fulfilling the need! If you shed a tear, hug yourself, because you are a compassionate person.

Well.. Don’t just sit there! Share this story!

Keep it going, this is a good one!

Suspended Coffees This is a piece by Dan Anderson published in 1998 thanks to Karen for sending it in…

#suspendedcoffees “it’s about more than the coffee”

PS: This is reposted!

Hey there! Good morning!

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I always loved waking up to good morning messages. There’s something so romantic about them. If I didn’t have one when I woke up, I’d send them. And after a while the responses stopped coming back to me. ‘I was late for work.’ ‘ I was going to reply later’ and a whole lot of other excuses.

If you have someone in your life that you really love, consider a good morning message as a great way to let the person know they are on your mind.

It can really make someone smile and make a world of a difference.

Do we know what we want?

Do we know what we want?

I am a sucker for all things love. Being in love, meeting your soul mate, holding hands, long strolls, fun things to do together, the endless smiles when you see your love, happily ever after endings – the whole 9 yards. I always believed that love should be this wild passionate thing that just happens to you.

But at some point in life – when the love vibes are nearly nonexistent – the search and the journey to find the love of your life begins.

It generally starts with close friends and family asking you the classic question – “So, what do you want?”

…… After a long silence. I really have to ask myself … “So …. What DO I want?”

“A nice person, someone who lives a healthy life style [read: goes to the gym and eats healthy], someone interesting – who has a similar taste in music, a passionate person who is in love with their work, someone fun, someone who loves to travel…. [and the list goes on]”

And then – our people go out and find someone for us – who fits all the criteria that we mentioned. Ideally – BOOM. The sparks should fly and love should happen. Its everything we ever wanted.. right?

WRONG! Nothing happens. If we’re lucky we don’t find anything repulsive about the “chosen one.” The chances of sparks actually flying are so far and few.

It started to make me wonder – Do I even know what I want? I say these things like – I know, but in the end, I think its not these things that matter.

I think we can’t define what we want – because we are not looking for qualities or characteristics. We are looking for a kind of energy in our lives. Something that keeps us going, energizes us, and for lack of a better set of words – makes us better people.

Mad, wild, passionate, extraordinary love is all energies – and when they come near each other – a set of tiny explosions happen.

spend time not money

Spend Time, not money

A while ago, and it got me thinking about time. Time is the most valuable asset we have. We have so much and so little all at once.

I decided to make a conscious effort to spend a little bit more time with the people that matter to me the most – even if it is just to ask them how their day was, or if they need a little help. And the results have been phenomenal.

Yesterday, I spent a little time with a friend – I picked her up – we drove to the gym together. Normally I would have switched on the radio, but I turned it off. We had a great conversation. At the gym, I helped her out with a few exercises. And the smile on her face just said it all – and now, I found myself a gym buddy.

I came home after a long day and asked my mom if she wanted help with dinner. She asked me to put the tomatos away and add a little pepper to the soup. It wasn’t much – but it gave me the opportunity to ask her about her day- and she was really excited to talk about a performance she attended.

It may not seem like a lot, but one conversation like this a day and everyone in my life started to feel so much more special and less taken for granted.

I expected people to know they meant a lot to me – now that I try to show them – I can feel the difference. They have brighter smiles when they see me, there is more joy and happiness in the way they speak to me, and those little accomplishments – have started to become a part of the conversation!

I’m sure this is one of the keys to love, joy and happiness.