The Wisest Guide of All
When you think of a generous person, who first comes to mind?
Generosity – “a willingness to give help or support, especially more than is usual or expected.”
Who has inspired you the most to greater generosity?
I hope that it won’t be some famous celebrities or philanthropists, rather it’ll be a family member, a friend, someone in the community, or a co-worker perhaps.
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” said Debbie Macomber.
One by One.
Act by Act.
Service by Service.
Little by Little.
Each of us can make a difference.
I am encouraged by the words of the Dalai Lama who said – “Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.”
We simply don’t talk about generosity enough.
We desperately need more men and women in society at large to look around, to look beyond themselves and consider the needs of others. To become more selfless, outward looking, to give more, to be more compassionate and much, much more generous. Some will think it airy-fairy. Yet, it is a powerful, personal, potent, peace giving potion.
What can you do, who will you help today?
I love this picture! Look at our huge smiles. I can still remember, as if it were today, something subtle happening, that we were scarcely aware of – we all became friends, each of whom who have subsequently touched my life for good.
That day, the six of us made some powerful professional breakthroughs and connections in our own community of practice. But above all, the part I cherish most of all, was the power of true friendship.
Listening, laughing, understanding, being a little silly together and empathy were in all in evidence as we embarked upon a new journey in our work on extra-dependent teams.
“A friend is a priceless possession because a true friend is one who is willing to take us the way we are but is able to leave us better than he found us. We are poor when we lose friends because generally they are willing to reprove, admonish, love, encourage, and guide for our best good. A friend lifts the heavy heart, says the encouraging word, and assists in supplying our daily needs. As friends we will make ourselves available without delay to those who need us.” – Marvin J. Ashton
The photo was taken in Zurich, in December 2019, just a few weeks before the pandemic and lockdown. Subsequently, the six of us have met by Zoom on several occasions. Our conversations have been moments I hold dear, through what has been a challenging year.
Somehow these special moments of friendship seem to have a long shelf life, which I am so grateful for. They can sustain you even long after the moment has passed.
Good friends are a little like stars, you may not always see them, but you know they are there!
My conclusion – the only way to really have friends, is to be one yourself.
Go on, reconnect today.
The energy in the room was high. Then in a reflective moment one participant shared “I can relate to that” and tears started to flow freely.
The atmosphere changed.
We had already created a safe environment for sharing that day, but the authenticity in the room soared to a different level. Attentively, everyone focused on the personal story being shared. It was a moment of high emotion and an intimate turning point in the workshop. In opening up in such a manner the participant had taken a great risk in approaching a vulnerable area in their life by sharing it so deeply. The silence was palpable.
Unwittingly, by speaking so candidly and tenderly, the participant had completely engaged everyone in the room.
Then it happened.
I watched, as those on either side felt impressed to reach out in a compassionate and reassuring way by physically touching our storyteller.
The whole experience had a profound effect on all of us in the room. There was a feeling of connection, togetherness and unity for a fleeting moment in time.
Deep and meaningful learning moments come quite unexpectedly at times. When they do, don’t be afraid to welcome them, gently explore them, embrace them and cherish them….forever.
Can you reach out and touch someone today?
Who supports you?
As a 4 year old, I set off with family and friends to climb this hill near Dunning, Perthshire. Since 1969, I have climbed this hill on many occasions, with my own children, family and friends. In fact it’s become one of my favourite spots on earth, to seek some peace, solitude and to reflect on life.
Just prior to my father’s death, I recall that we were talking about this photo. As we spoke about it, he asked if I could remember anything about the climb up the hill. I said “No”. He laughed and then responded “You can’t remember anything?” Once again..”No”. He then shared the story of our ascent. He told me that as we were about half way up the hill, I started to complain about sore legs and that I couldn’t make it to the top.
As we carried on, dad encouraged me and told me that I could make it. So, seemingly I persevered for a little longer, but then after a while, I told him once again – “I can’t do it”. As a loving parent, he picked me up, put me on his shoulders and carried me the last little distance to the top of the hill. Resulting with this photo taken a few minutes later – of a very happy child atop the stone for the very first time!
There are so many principles in this story about getting tired, taking my eyes off the goal etc … But most of all I want to make the point that in our conversations together, lets be ever mindful of supporting each other to achieve our goals!
Who can you support?