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Life and the Privilege of Friendship: The Simplest Act of Kindness

Updated on January 19, 2014

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and it’s devastation to life and property in the US on October 30, 2012, I delved into the archives of my thoughts and muses and came up with something I wrote after the Tsunami in Japan in March of 2011. Nothing has changed. Oh the dates and times, and the severity of the individual events perhaps, but nothing has really changed, at least not the things that matter. The only difference is the question of what we will do before the next event happens. Here is my brief reminder:

Japanese Tsunami - March 2011

In the past several years there has been much tragedy and adversity in all our lives. From 9/11 to Tsunami’s to Hurricanes to personal loss of all kinds. There always seems to be an event that provokes us to view our own mortality. This brief letter is an attempt to share my view of recent days.

I’ve come to appreciate more the importance of the people around family, my friends, my co-workers and co-writers, all those who have come into my life for one reason or another. I don’t always understand why they’re here, but I know there is a grander scheme. My main focus here, however, is just to say thank you for the part all of you have played or are playing in my life.

Helen Keller once wrote: “My friends have made the story of my life. In a thousand ways they have turned my limitations into beautiful privileges, and have enabled me to walk serene and happy in the shadow cast by my deprivation.”

Although my story and my limitations are very different than Helen Keller’s I am no less “happy in the shadow cast by my own deprivation.” The events of the world will persist, they will keep on coming. The calamities of this world will cause us to continue to search for answers deep within. My best friend (my wife Sophia), and all of you, each in his or her own way, have helped me “turn my limitations into beautiful privileges.

So now, I simply want to say THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR LIFE WITH ME! I also want to encourage all of you, before the next soul-searching event occurs, to make the time to:

Touch someone, perform one small act of kindness, tell your spouse, your mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, or any other family member that you love them. Say thank you to your friends for the role they have played in making your life a “beautiful privilege.”

Thanks for being there.

Peace Be With You


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    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      5 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thank you Alise-Evon!

      We all need reminders of the value of kindness and gratefulness, each promoting a life worth living and each so fostering a spirit of cooperation with out fellow man.

      Peace be with you!

    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 

      5 years ago

      Very nicely put. Thank you for the reminders.

    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      5 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thanks HoneyBB!

      If Helen Keller could do what she did, we can certainly do what we were put here to do...whatever that happens to be! Keep on writing!

    • HoneyBB profile image

      H Lax 

      5 years ago

      Reading this article made me think about all the tragedies that have been occurring lately in this world and the opportunities they brought with them to show God the number of people working to make things right and what wonderful, caring, thoughtful people are willing to do for their Brothers and Sisters and animal friends.

    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      6 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thank You John-Rose!

      I hope we can and do come together because the alternative isn't very enticing! Thanks for reading and commenting John!



    • John-Rose profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Bruce, another great and deep hub that makes one think. As bad as disasters are they do have ways to bring us together as human beings. If we didn't come together we would fall apart.

    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      6 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thank You to all of my friends, Exstatic, lrc7815 and fpher! I am always grateful for those who comment. Sorry, I got a bit tied up and didn't respond immediately. Yes Paula, I'm smart enough to temper the comments that come through! LOL

      I haven't actually had to sensor one yet...But you never know!!!

      All three of you have been so kind and I hope your kind thoughts return to you tenfold!

      Peace be with you always!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bruce! I left a comment about an hour ago! Do you have your comments held until you approve them? Or did I goof up and not post it? It's not nice to confuse an old lady, Bruce!! LOL

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bruce...How warm and wonderful. Reminders like this one are always welcome. It's much too easy to get caught up in the struggles and stress of trying to survive and make it through one crisis or another.

      We need to make it a habit to....STOP, breathe deep, take a look around and notice who is there, helping you, caring & sharing in your goals. The old cliche to smell the roses, continues to have meaning.

      "I love you," means the world to those who love us....and it's much more satisfying to say than, "I'm sorry."......Very nice read. UP+++

    • Born2care2001 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rev Bruce S Noll HMN 

      6 years ago from Asheville NC

      Thanks Bill!

      Simply put, if I could write like you do, I would do nothing else! Though the subject matter is the same, each of us does have a unique perspective.

      In any case, I'm glad we're in this thing together.

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 

      6 years ago from Central Virginia

      What a piece of writing! The parallels speak volumes and that the sentiment has not changed does as well. We are what we are and tragedy is what it is. At the end of the day, what is important hasn't changed. Thank you for the beautiful reminder. Adding a link on my hub challenge and sharing across my networks.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Beautiful and heartfelt message to the world and to all priviledged to know you in person or on HP. Would that we were all as caring as you are.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bruce, I only have one word for this....beautiful! It is a message you and I understand quite well, and it is a message I will keep pounding home as long as I am able to write. Nothing is more important in life than of family, love of friends, love of life. Everything else is window dressing.

      Bravo my friend; I am proud to know you.



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