I learned something on that sad day on the 11th of September 15 years ago. During that time of turmoil, fear, sadness, and terror, no matter where we live in this wide country, we were collectively and suddenly New Yorkers. Everybody was on one side...the emotion and caring for the people of this horrific scene was to a person the same.
Finding oneself by serving others may seem paradoxical. The word "service" has gone out of style. Today it often conjures up images of military service, or customer service. Its broader meaning refers to kindness, acknowledgement, making a difference. A "life of service" might include any or all of these:
Love is supposed to be reciprocal. What happens when our loved one stops showing us the love we have been conditioned to expect, when they meet our gaze with indifference, or when they tell us to go to hell? Dementia is an invitation for us to discover the true meaning of unconditional love, using mindfulness and loving kindness as gateway practices.
If you look around at recent events it might seem that the world is falling apart. However, humanity has dealt with tragedy and injustice forever. So now, thanks to the global village that social media has created, there is immediacy to the awareness in which our fears are broadcast and regurgitated back to us.
This is a great time for a practical outpouring of generosity. When I think of generosity, I think of open hands. Some might see open hands as being weak. But the ability to express kindness and offering of your time, skill, or things can be one of your greatest strengths if you have the courage to show it.