Let me begin with a note an elderly man sent to his neighbors in the UK.
This letter is regarding your vacation two weeks ago, and how you let me babysit Smokey, Oreo, and Jennifer. I’d just like to give you a letter of thanks.
As you know, I’m an old man. You don’t see me outside often anymore, as these joints aren’t as lively as they used to be. To add to that, two years ago, in the midst of the pandemic, my dad got diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. After his death, I was left alone in my home. I don’t have a wife or kids. I could go to sleep one day and never wake up again. Every day is spent just sitting around and wondering what I have done for this world.
Until I met Smokey, Oreo, and Jennifer.
Your pets are the cutest, funniest, and most troublesome (In a good way, don’t worry, they didn’t mess up the house too much!) individuals. They gave me the motivation to restart my life again. I started waking up early in the mornings. I began to take walks outside with your pets for the first time in years. Every 10 minutes, whenever I felt sad for a second, they would bark or rub against my leg and make me laugh.
The highlight of their stay was when I took them to the park. It was the longest time I’ve spent outside in a while. It didn’t just bring back pet interaction, I also met other people, started talking, and made friends with a handful of fellow human beings. I was so happy to finally be able to talk with friends again, interact with others, and feel like I’m part of the human race.
I realize I sound very existential right now, but I’m telling the truth. It’s nice knowing that I’m doing something for someone, even if it’s my neighbor.
I adopted two pet dogs soon after. (You may have been hearing noise from my home, pardon them!) I now take regular walks to the park with them and talk with friends I made there. Anyways, I’d just like to say: thank you so much. You brought back meaning to my life. And that’s all that matters,
Robert (P.S, I think it’s time for you to mow the lawn, haha!)
I read it in an online article which eventually pointed to this link.
It moved me and got me thinking but still not enough that I would devote a whole post to it (after all, I only get to see you twice a month and I want to make it worth your while), until I stumbled upon a remarkable comment made by a kid in a video.
Was it a coincidence that I chanced upon the video the same day I read the article? Or was the Universe trying to tell me something? Of course, neither of these. It was simply Google tracking everything and then when you show up at Youtube, it knows what you might like.
In the past I have written that how feeling loved is the most fundamental human desire. Whatever your heart is ever searching for in work, in relationships or even on your spiritual journey is nothing but the highest, the purest expression of love. The kind where you feel like if this was the last moment of your life, you would have no regrets because your cup is full, it’s spilling over from the love that’s been poured into it. And it goes without saying that you naturally start brimming with love yourself because that’s what you are full of, that’s what you have received.
But what is another expression for love? All things considered, even if you wanted to, you can’t meet everyone, all the time. You can’t personally see and assure every vulnerable person and tell them that everything’s going to be alright. Does that mean that your love is then limited to your loved ones alone or only your friends who get to see you. Not quite.
The letter and the statement by the kid helped me crystalize my thoughts around the most invaluable thing you could do for someone. While various people want different things and what is great and priceless to someone can be ordinary and useless to others. Nevertheless, the greatest gift in my humble opinion, is to be there for someone when they need your assurance and support. This is not necessarily always done with your words or attention, but even through your work, your cause, by doing something well.
So in the video, there is a journalist who stops a young boy and the following conversation ensues:
Anchor: What does your mom do?
Kid: She works at Legoland.
A: Nice ok. Do you know how much she makes?
(The kid darts a glance at his mom and shrugs. The mother says, “Say any price.”)
K: Any price. (The boy utters the mom’s response, literally.)
A: What’s your dream job? What do you want to do when you grow up?
K: I am gonna be a doctor.
A: How much do you want to make?
K: I am gonna make… people feel okay!
It’s easily the most profound thing I’ve heard a kid say in a long time. This boy is being brought up right, his priorities are in the right order.
And that’s the thing, making someone, making others feel okay. It’s not easy, it requires sacrifice, strength, patience and empathy. It requires competence too. But that is what love is. When you love what you do, when you are grateful, when you are passionate about the wellbeing of others, your actions naturally show that you care. And when you care, you make people feel okay. This is no less than a great sadhana.
Whether we serve through our work, words, resources, any which way, you are filling up someone’s cup. You are making someone feel okay. That gives you a turbo boost (without the noise) and hastens your spiritual progress. Keep filling others’ cups steadily and in return providence will plug your vat into an unlimited supply of love, fulfillment, and purpose.
Go on then, make someone feel okay today. When tomorrow comes, repeat it.
Om Swami no-filter coffee brewing now. Anyone for a cuppa? Serving 24/7.
Loving is inevitable. Giving is optional.If my writings have helped you, please consider contributing.
Your thoughtfulness is needed to keep the lights on.
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