Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Lesson from Liz and Melinda

Yesterday, Liz, Melinda and I met to celebrate Melinda’s birthday last week. I don’t recall which one it is for her. It really doesn’t matter as much as celebrating her entrance into the world where she’s done so much for young people as a former teacher. In fact, all three of us were teachers and today, Liz told us a story about the cook in the new restaurant we visited, the cook, H. who had been one of her students.
Liz had been to one of the furniture stores in town where she encountered H., a young mother with two children, trying to establish credit to buy a washer. The landlord of her apartment refused to repair the washer that came with the rental unit. We all know how much laundry must be done when you have two young children. Having access to a washing machine that works is crucial.
After their catching-up chat, Liz told H. to give her a call if she didn’t get her credit. Liz was hatching a plan. I have to insert here that Liz is one of the kindest people on the planet and the plans she hatches reflect that. She had an unused washer and dryer at her house she’d been planning to sell, but now the Universe had plopped down another option right in front of her.
H. did not get her credit and tough as it was to do, she called Liz. Liz told her about the washer and then asked her if she could use the dryer too. Of course she could. H.’s kids got clean clothes. What did Liz get?
What she got was happy because it’s a rule of the Universe that when you give from the heart where there’s a genuine need, you get back tenfold—or maybe more—who’s counting?
Melinda shared that when she had given a range in much the same situation, she too ended up feeling happy. Both my friends said they were sure they felt much happier than the persons receiving their generous gifts.
I’m positive that this is one of the lessons we’re meant to learn in our lives. Giving is more blessed than receiving. Didn’t someone say that? It’s a law of the Universe. Science has proven by doing brain scans that human beings show more happiness when they give than when they receive.
Need seems to be escalating daily. Food, clothing, shelter, medical attention, reading to a child, teaching an adult to read, compassion, a hug. You don’t have to look far to find the need. Your gift doesn’t have to cost a lot. If you’ve been feeling a little down recently and could use a boost of happiness, then my question to you is, “Given all the evidence right in front of your eyeballs, what are you waiting for?”
Oh, and while you’re busy giving, how about some gratitude for two retired teachers who have never stopped teaching. Liz and Melinda, thanks for the lesson!

2 comments:

Spruce Eagle said...

What a lovely story. So, pay it forward!!

spruce eagle poet

Erin said...

I fondly remember all three of you. I will attend graduate school this fall and I hope all of my future professors display the same caliber as you three.