Each day we have unlimited opportunities to step forth with unconditional love for our fellow man and be of service to one another. These opportunities for kindness with no expectation in return often show up in unexpected ways.
One night about ten years ago, I was walking to my car in the Salt Lake City airport parking garage with my ex-husband and children around 11pm on a Saturday night. A well-dressed man with two little girls approached us just as we got to our car, asking for $20 to pay his parking tab. He was embarrassed as he explained that he'd lost his wallet in his travels.
As I immediately reached into my purse, my husband asked me to take the kids and get in the car. Handing my husband the $20 I'd gotten from my purse, we got in the car, knowing that my husband would help him. A minute later when my husband got in the car he boasted that he wasn't being scammed by this guy and proudly drove away without helping the man in need. I was overwhelmed with disappointment and sadness. We had so much and $20 wouldn't have made any difference in our night or life, but to this man in that moment, it was everything.
In sharing this story, many understood my dismay in the situation while others said it was better that we didn't give because it "wouldn't have been smart". In retrospect, I wonder, when is it okay to give or serve others and when is it "not smart"?
Perhaps we should have accompanied the man to the garage attendant and paid the parking directly. Maybe if he hadn't had two little children with him I wouldn't have felt so badly afterward for leaving him stranded.Maybe we were being scammed, but to me, it didn't matter. Even if he was doing it to earn $20, his need was greater than ours. As we drove home that night, the words of Khalil Gibran from his book, The Prophet, kept playing over and over in my head...
"You give little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream."
When we allow others to fill their cup from our little stream, it's funny how our stream always remains full. This Universal law has proven true time and time again. And yet, knowing this, it still amazes me how sometime we can be so clueless with one another.
No matter what religious path we follow, 90% of the teachings from most religions are about kindness and loving one another. Yet, there seems to be some incongruity in the world with the delivery and implementation of this message. Too often we get caught up in the moment and think of ourselves first. We assume that someone is running a scam on us and ignore a request for help. We live from a place of scarcity and "save it just in case we might need it later" rather than keeping the stream of life flowing.
Each day we have the choice of selfishness or selflessness. Too often we're running late for work and flip off the person who pulls out in front of us in traffic. We're short tempered with the barista at the coffee shop for taking so long because we're in a hurry. We say we want peace on earth but don't think that applies to people we don't like in our own little world.
But what would it look like if we lived our life from unconditional love for one another? What if we woke each morning and asked, "How can I serve today?"
Today's Inspirational Luminary, Deremiah *CPE does just that. I've never met anyone who gives so much to so many, with no thought of what he'll get in return.His philosophy is simple...
"The greatest thought of wisdom I could share with you is to SERVE your community with passion. Give them all you have. And give it every bit of all you've got. SERVE your way to SUCCESS. Nothing holds you back if you are willing to give it all up for the sake of serving. If you are to become great, serve. Serve others so that you will have enough energy, vitality and life to serve again. Serve your family, serve your community, serve your company, and eventually you will serve your country and they shall tell the world about the passion of how you lived your life so wonderfully."
I invite you to listen to our interview and try this concept out for yourself. You never know- it just might bring peace, joy and happiness into your life instead of frustration and disappointment. And the best part is, there's little to lose and a lot to gain.
Follow Gail Lynne Goodwin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/inspiremetoday