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#In this Wonderful Life

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“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth.”
Jess C. Scott, The Intern

 In this wonderful life, this often difficult to understand existence we share with the world around us and all its inhabitants, we can be forgiven for wondering what is wonderful about it. It can drive us to distraction and also to the heights of ecstasy, all within the space of moments. It can make us question our reason for being, our reason to stay, and our reason for the apparently innumerable atrocities we are bombarded with daily.

I rarely watch the news broadcasts, the innumerable advertisements, radio broadcasts or read the newspapers. Good news is hard to find in any of these places and the horrors are far too many to count. It is difficult to find the “milk of human kindness” whilst being deluged with the nightmarish ability of some people to perpetuate abominable acts.

Yet, even accepting all of this, I still feel, still believe, that this life is wonderful. We have been gifted with an abundance of beauty, of goodness, kindness and the opportunity to share our happiness, gratitude and kindness with our fellow Spirits, our fellow travellers on life’s road. We have the choice, should we decide to do so, to make a difference in our world, even if it is only in a small way. Even the small acts of kindness and gratitude add up and make a significant difference to others and to our world. Without these simple acts of goodness we would surely be in a dark place.

 

#In this Wonderful Life

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“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.
Delicious Ambiguity.”
Gilda Radner

 

I see the struggle some people have to endure, the hardships and terrors, homelessness and cruelty and I know that our small acts of consideration are immeasurably worthwhile. The “Thank You” to a waiter or shop assistant for serving us with a smile, helping us to find something we want and in doing so, making our day better. They deserve the same acknowledgement. It makes my heart light to return a smile, a “Thank You” and more, to let their superior know that they’ve done a good job. It takes but a small moment and can mean so much.

We can have no idea what is happening in their lives – the hardships or losses which might be lightened, even slightly, by a kind word or gesture. I remember one sad-looking lady, going about her job in the coffee shop, smiling in all the right places, going out of her way to help by bringing someone an extra jug of milk with a smile. A smile tinged with sadness – hiding the loss of someone dear. A gentle touch on her wrist, a connection between our eyes as I thanked her for her kindness and for just a moment, I saw that dark cloud lift, just a little. Letting her boss know how good the service was and seeing her smile again – worth so much to know I may have made a small difference for just a moment. Who knows how important such a moment may be?

These small acts of kindness, or “Random Acts of Kindness” as they have become known, are often as precious as gold or silver. They spread ripples out into the world, growing ever larger and with unknown consequences. I have even heard a story about how one small act of kindness stopped someone from taking their life. They later said it was this small thing which made them decide they would keep trying and then they helped someone else and they found the strength to keep going.

 

#In this Wonderful Life
image courtesy of flickerhivemind.net   Wonderful Life in Nature
“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living
#In this Wonderful Life

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We have all seen or heard of the film “Pay it Forward”. A beautiful film which has immortalised on-screen this effect of doing small acts of kindness and how it can grow beyond anything we may imagine. Yet, it is only one side of the coin. We can be selfish, self-centred and consumed by our own wants, ignoring everyone and everything else.

If you watch the daily news, read the daily papers, even the internet, you can be inundated with the horror stories which can destroy any chance of peace of mind. Occasionally it is impossible to ignore the stories of cruelty perpetuated by other people. Children beaten so badly, like a young toddler today that he could not be saved. We can be brought down by these stories, these acts of barbarism to such an extent that we can find no answer to the question of “Why?” Why do these things happen to innocents before they’ve had a chance to explore this wonderful life?

 

#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of 1hdwallpapers.com  Magic is all around us – always.

“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If this question is asked there is usually someone who will say they were angels, not meant to stay here on earth. Yet I find little comfort in this. Even accepting the premise that they chose this life, however brief it was, cannot lift the weight on our hearts at their pain and suffering.

Bad things happen because, at present, good people do not do enough to create enough ripples of kindness to prevent bad things happening. It is a wonderful life. It is filled with wonder and joy, happiness and kindness. We can and do make a difference if we chose to. We don’t need coaching to do this because we already know what to do. Being kind, grateful, generous, are already a part of us. We have to make a conscious choice to follow those beautiful parts of ourselves and we can effect wonderful change around us.

#In this Wonderful Life

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When was the last time you smiled at a stranger, or dropped spare change into a buskers cap? When did you last smile at your waitress and genuinely thank her for serving you, thanking her for looking after your needs? When did you thank the lady at the checkout, the baker in the bakery, the butcher for selecting a beautiful cut of meat from the local farm or the stall holder who was selling fresh home-grown vegetables for you to enjoy? There are so many ways we can all make this world a wonderful place, our daily lives a “Wonderful Life”.

 

#In this Wonderful Life

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“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”
Louise Erdrich, The Painted Drum LP
#In this Wonderful Life

image courtesy of theoldrectorydonard.com

 

So I would ask you – remember to be Mindful, be in the moment, stop to consider how you think and act and remember that one small act of kindness or generosity can indeed be the small seed to save a life or even save the world. In this Wonderful Life we can make magic happen.

 

Blessings, Susan♥

© Susan Jamieson 31 July 2014

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