Try a Little Kindness
Real or fiction? We are Bound by a Higher Law
When I went down to the "dungeon" (my man cave as I call it) yesterday morning and began to open my emails there was one from Sharon, an old friend of mine. In the email she shared a video which was such a blessing to me as I opened and viewed a few minutes later. It can still be seen on you tube and it is a presentation by Dr. Wayne Dyer where he is sharing, the Teddy Stoddard Story as part of one of his programs.
You may or may not want to watch the video but I wiped the tears from my face as I watched and listened to this story, I have done a little research on the content and found it is really a work of fiction but nevertheless the principle which it reflects are ideals worth striving especially in our day and time. To be an encourager and a motivator requires nothing more than simply taking the time to love unconditionally, observe, listen and be sensitive to the needs of others.
I have always appreciated those in my past who have listened, who understood and were real friends and made a difference in my life. You and I have opportunities everyday and can only make a difference if we will take the necessary steps required and let our hearts guide us. We all have choices; we can make it a good one which will reap positive benefits or like many, simply ignore and be passive.
I remember so well a family who lived in our community, the Simpson's (not their real name). The parents were cotton mill workers and the family quite large. My father in law drove the bus they rode to school and oftentimes after picking them up at their bus stop, they would make a hasty exit at the next bus stop and go back home. Of course they were made to come on back to school once discovered back home and the parents had to then drive them and force them to stay.
The family moved into the city and in the years that followed some of the boys became street people. I would see them hanging with the crowd of vagrants and winos in town sometime begging for change or cigarettes. One day while waiting in my vehicle for my wife at the grocery store, I saw some of them looking into the Pizza Hut dumpster across from the grocery store. A huge smile came across one's face. He had just found a whole pizza that had been cast into the garbage and it became breakfast for the group. Each of these boys may have turned out differently if someone had only taken the time to become involved in some positive way of encouragement to listen and love. Sadly most, even me, looked the other way and never offered to help.
After my retirement from GE, I drove a van for Vocational Solutions in Hendersonville, a really great organization which helps the physically and mentally challenged. I observed that Carl, one of the Simpson boys I had known years before, was working there and living in a group home where some of the residents were brought to Vocational Solutions to work. They only earned minimum wages but it was an opportunity for dignified labor and each employee received help in many different ways from the compassionate staff.
Carl had been beaten up so many times and once left for dead in a back alley of one of our towns streets. Carl's year’s of alcohol and drug abuse had left him only a shell of a man but at this juncture in his life because someone took time to help in a positive way a huge difference was made in his life, He was now happy and appeared fulfilled. I observed him each day as he boarded his van to go back to his group home and the contentment and happiness shown on his countenance told the real story. Carl passed away about a year ago and I wept at his passing, knowing that his last days on planet Earth had been his best.
Shortly after Carl's passing I ran into a business owner who told me he had arrived one morning to open his appliance repair shop on a busy street on the outskirts of our town near where the Simpsons live. He arrived to find Carl sitting in the doorway. The business owner, Johnny Johnson smiled as he remembered what Carl had told him when he had arrived. "Good morning Johnny! I've been sitting here all night because when I came by, your door was unlocked. I was afraid someone might break in and steal some of your tools. Johnny said Carl had touched his heart being mindful and guarding the shop.
Recently I discovered there are about 300 young people in our county who are homeless. Many are high school students who have no permanent place to study or lie down to sleep at night. I worry many are malnourished. Steps have been taken to build two separate dormitories, one for boys and one for girls and I hope this project come to fruition. Currently with the help of two civic organizations, teens and children who are homeless are receiving backpack meals. On Friday afternoons the backpacks are filled with enough food that can easily be prepared without too much effort. Ours is a caring community and no doubt help is on the way for these precious youth.
Words of encouragement are great but sometimes it takes more. We shouldn't shy away when we have opportunity to roll up our sleeves and pitch in to help. You never know what a difference and the positive effects your labors will have.