Friday, May 29, 2009

How Have You Changed?

I don’t believe that there is anyone left that hasn’t been affected by the way of the world these days. Not exactly a picnic in the park, is it? You know, I’m like everyone else; there are days I think, as my good friend said to me the other day, “if someone would just say all this will be over by a certain date, then I think I could know what I had to plan for”. Unfortunately, life keeps us on our toes. I can’t even say the “e” word anymore without wanting to throw up. If any word in the English language has been over used this past year, it is the economy word! As hard as it’s been for some, for many, or for none of you, I believe it has been a good lesson for many of us about life. I use to not know what a gallon of milk cost. Why? Because I needed it and wasn’t’ worried about it. Now like many people, you make adjustments in your life. I know my family doesn’t go out to eat together as much as we use to. Now we get together still, but may just order pizza than go out for an expensive dinner.

I guess my biggest concern when I ask, “how have you changed”, is this. I’ve always tried to give back or pay it forward, and I still do. There are so, so many people out there these days hurting. A couple of months ago, I was getting off the freeway to go buy dog food at Petsmart. Usually at this off ramp there are people standing with signs asking for money and such. It was raining that day, and overcast and gloomy. The light turned red and I was about four cars back. There was this elderly black man standing in the rain with a simple sign that said, “please help”. There was just something about him that was different, I can’t explain it. I dug in my purse and I had a five dollar bill. As the light changed, before I even rolled the window down in my car, he began walking towards me. I stuck my hand out the window to give him the five dollar bill. He clutched my hand for a moment, that seemed much longer, and looked into my eyes and said, “bless you child”. His eyes were old, but wise and caring. As I drove off, tears began to stream down my face. I was so touched and moved by our short encounter and what it meant to be. I’ve always believed that people are brought into our lives for a reason, for however long or maybe just a brief encounter. Even now, several months later, I’m writing about this experience.

So when I ask, “how have you changed” what is different in your lives today? Are you like me that now knows the cost of milk but still knows you’ve got to help people when you can. Or have you changed for the best, beginning to know more now than ever how important it is to reach out to people! You hear it on the news all the time that the food banks are down, and other charitable groups aren’t getting the help they use to. But if we try, if we look into our hearts we can all make a difference. Just by having an extra dollar to give to someone that may be hungry, can make a huge impact on someone’s life. There is this quote I like by Eckhart Tolle that goes like this: “Forget about your life situation and pay attention to your life. Your life situation exists in time. Your life is now. Your life situation is mind stuff, your life is real”.


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  2. Wonderful thought provoking post. Thinking about it, I can say first off that we have changed by eating out less and staying home more. More thought on the subject and I recall that we did not take a vacation last year and at this moment we have no plans to take one this year. Also, I did not get the new auto that I was going to get last year but chose instead to keep the 11 year old vehicle that I have. Much of the money we save goes to help my nephew who was in an auto accident 21 months ago and is paralyzed from his neck down. The accident and his paralysis has caused a financial hardship for himself and his mother, who is my sister. He has received no help from his dad or members of that side of the family. My husband and I, and our daughter have helped pay for some of his therapy during the past year that insurance would not cover. For the past 18 months I have taken care of him through the week, while my sister works, and my son and I do what little therapy he now gets. Recently, we have all combined resources and built him an apartment so that he can have his own place; he was 19 when he had the accident and he is now 21 years old. Although he cannot actually live alone or even be alone it will be his home once it is finished. Because we have been blessed throughout the years we have always tried to give back by helping others in our community. My husband is a member of our local volunteer fire department and he also spends a lot of time helping the elderly members of our community. Like you said, "if we look into our hearts we can all make a difference."