Today, I know two things. The first is that we are in the middle of May. The second is that when good advice is given, it resonates like a bell ringing in our ears.
Here’s the bell-ringing story I heard today:
Once upon a time in the spring of 2020, the oldest daughter, an amazing young woman of 27, phoned her mom to share her current state of mind and heart. The daughter’s future remains bright by any standard. She normally holds an optimistic attitude and each day works well above and beyond the call, which, as you might guess, has earned her the respect of her family and the trust of her employer.
But on this particular day, even thought for the past two months she’d been positive (but not with Covid-19), confident and upbeat, she confessed to her mom that she was “a bit off her game,” yet she didn’t know why. For most of us, being off isn’t all that unusual, but this wasn’t working for her.
Her mom, being very wise (as moms usually are), told her she needed to quit what she was doing, doing, doing; and thinking, thinking, thinking; and wondering, wondering wondering. She needed to stop, get out of her current state of mind, and start looking around for someone who has a need. By expanding her awareness beyond herself and her job, she’d feel better. She would become a helper.
This is a simple story with powerful advice. It’s old advice, yet tried and true.
We are blessed in so many ways, no matter how we feel at any particular moment. Yet throughout these days and weeks and months of 2020, it’s so very easy to get caught up in the uncertainty of our own little world. That’s when we forget GRATITUDE. When we look around at how we can help someone out, it flips our focus.
Mr. Fred Roger’s mom once told him that in a crisis, “Look for the helpers.” John F. Kennedy said, “….ask what you can do for your country.” This shift of focus, from our small selves to something beyond us has immeasurable worth.
The very next day, when her mom opened the front door, she found a giant basket of groceries. The note attached was from her daughter: “I heard you Mom. You are the first beneficiary of my new outreach.”
Let’s be that daughter. With our expanded view of the world, we will live happily ever after in the middle of May.