Life’s Unexpected Little Treasures
Artwork: Silent Wisdom by Sundara“We are put on this planet only once, And to limit ourselves to the familiar Is a crime against our minds. ~ Roger Ebert ~
Well, I promised that I was going to get back to writing at least one blog post every day from hereon in, so here are my thoughts this evening…. inspired by a post on Facebook by a friend who was so chuffed because water-pipes were being installed near her house so she took her young son out to watch… what transpired next is one of Life’s Unexpected Little Treasures… the operator saw her son and invited him into the cab of the caterpillar he was using to manoeuvre the pipes… the young lad sat enthralled next to him in the cab for 10 minutes whilst the guy carried on working… A gesture so small that meant so much to all 3…. that is gold!
It got me thinking about whether we actually realise how much such a small gesture could mean to someone else. How often do you just smile at a stranger you walk past, or let someone who has only one item cash out before you with your month’s worth of groceries? Do you ever stop to give a gogo carrying a heavy shopping bag a lift? These are small gestures that really take the minimum of effort on our part but most people won’t do any of them. Why?
I agree with the Arch (Tutu) when he says that South Africa needs to regain its humanity. I have been saying that for ages… we have lost our humanity, our compassion, our respect and our trust. It is a sad fact of life, but with all the violence and lack of respect for others, South Africans have drifted into a malaise of “not again” and “well it is none of my business.”
Crime has overtaken the land to the degree that people are scared to trust anyone; our public services are a disgrace; most citizens do not trust the people who are supposed to protect us, and our political parties and media fuel the racial divide daily by making inflammatory statements, playing the blame game, and some really bad reporting just to fill the coffers.
And then a stranger, a black man, sees an excited young white boy standing with his mother watching all this big machinery in glee, as boys will… and he reaches out with compassion and insight into a young boy’s psyche and gives the lad a wonderful experience. There was no thought of “Oh that is a rich white kid so I will ignore him” or “No I can’t get in there with a black man!” There was just a connection between a man (who is most probably a father) and a young inquiring mind… as it should be.
People are not born racist and distrusting; they are made that way by life. Whether it is through hardship, envy, distrust borne of disappointment, crime, or the “Sins of the Forefathers,” bigotry, racism and hatred are fostered through external influences. We need to look inward and see what we can do to resolve the problem; how we can change someone’s mind about “our kind,” whatever that may be.
Smile at a stranger, take a trip down to your local orphanage or old-age home and take some sweets or cookies with you; spend an hour playing with the children or reading to the elderly once a month. Adopt a Gogo or Grampa who has no family or whose family has deserted them (there are plenty of both kinds in every old age home.) Don’t just do the Xmas present thing; go and visit them, take them out for a meal or bring them home for a weekend once a month…
Say good morning to your neighbour with a smile on your face, and mean it. The other person may look at you with distrust at first, but when they see that you have nothing but good intentions they will react positively. Pretty soon they will greet someone else that they used to ignore because they have felt how good it feels just to be acknowledged.
The only way we can change this world is by each of us creating one of life’s little unexpected treasures for someone else every day…The greatest sign of Humanity, Is showing kindness to a stranger Billi duPré Namaste LightSpirit