As these weeks go by, so much of what we have be exposed to is evident all around. It’s also evident how unaware we have been made by the systems in place to keep us herded, like cattle, into the slaughter. I once was at a conference where one of the leaders did a presentation about the cattle mentality, and how it allowed us humans to behave like cattle. Through this experience, the real impact of what he was teaching that day has been magnified unbelievably. Is it any wonder there are so many concrete factories? How else do we keep pouring on the layers of control? How else do we keep the imaginations of the populous from running amok, improving, expanding love (now understanding that hate is a learned emotion based in a belief of lack)?
Every day now, I see acts of kindness in ways that were always there, just oblivious to them, and it makes me behave better. Yesterday, it was the beginning of a polar vortex hitting our area, with temperatures falling to (wind chills) of -25 degrees F. I had to go to the store, and when I arrived I sat there for a minute, finishing listening to my DMP, when I noticed that because of the severe cold, a lot of people were bringing their carts to their cars, depositing the groceries and leaving the cart next to the car. Some were at least thoughtful enough to return the cart to the cart area. One lady, walked past the cart stall and took the cart to the area just inside the store. I don’t know for sure what she was thinking, but I saw an act of kindness. To me, that was one less cart the employees had to spend time in that bitter cold gathering carts. There was a perfect example of giving without expectation of reciprocity. I imagined her as a youngster, working at a market gathering those carts, wishing people would at least put the carts in the cart stall.
I got out of the car, picked one of the carts that was left in the open and took it to do my shopping. When I finished shopping, I took my cart to the inside cart area. In that moment, I promised myself to make that a habit. After all, I realized it only took me a minute to do that, I got a little exercise, and it made someone’s job a little easier. Everyone involved in that small situation benefited. Then, the cherry on top. The young man gathering the carts stopped me on the way back to my car and said thanks for returning the cart. It made my day.
In this weather gratitude is so easy. Shelter, and heat in the shelter, stands tall. The ability to sit down at my own table and eat a meal prepared by somebody who cares about me is something I know I used to take for granted. Never again.
The hardest thing has been saying thanks for perceived transgressions, or even welcoming that thought is something I need to work on. Intellectually, I understand it, and I am committed to mastering this habit. I remember this phrase and press on. By the yard it’s hard, by the inch it’s a cinch. I would like to reference an anecdote I read in Dennis Kimbro’s book What Makes the Great Great.
A boiler maker was hired to repair a huge steamship boiler system. He listened to a description of the problem, went to the boiler room, listened to the boiler, felt the cold pipes, took out a hammer and tapped a bright red valve and the system started working perfectly. The owner, after receiving a $2,000 bill, demanded an itemized bill as he noticed the boilermaker had only been in the engine room for five minutes. The itemized bill: $1.00 for tapping with the hammer, $1,999 for knowing where to tap.
He goes on to say “Success is a matter of of knowing how to use the power of our subconscious minds to transform the quality of our lives. When you use your subconscious mind correctly – ‘knowing where to tap’ – you will be able to solve any problem, overcome any obstacle, and achieve any goal you sincerely desire”.
Now where have we heard that before? Each one of us is rare. Rare things have value. Therefore we are all valuable. Believe it.