Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Inner Person (09/09/10)
TITLE: A Few Kind Words - Maybe a Laugh
By Barbara Mahler
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I expect to pass through this world but once.
Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show
to any fellow creature, let me do it now.
Let me not defer or neglect it
for I shall not pass this way again ~
I have the good fortune to know at least two individuals who live their lives in such a way that they radiate, “let me not defer or neglect it.”
I’ve known Tim for most of his life – since he was a child in the same class with one of my children. Now married, he and his wife are the parents of two almost grown sons. As a highly regarded beautician in a small town Tim works happy. His good humor and gentle manner are always evident. Years of a “healthy dose of Tim,” along with my hair cut have given me insight into the inner person whom I have grown to admire tremendously. Although he admits that he is privy to more than he would like to hear Tim does not pass along stories about others, yet he often shares some of his own.
One of Tim’s true tales took place during his son’s elementary school years. He and his wife were at a social gathering also attended by their oldest son’s teacher. When the teacher just happened to mention math homework the conscientious parents exchanged suspicious glances since their young son had assured them that he did not have math homework.
“The following morning my wife and I gave him every opportunity and asked again if he had math homework. But he knew he was in trouble when we told him that we had spoken with his teacher.” Tim recounted. “I told Dave,” he continued, “we all make mistakes and mistakes can always be fixed, but don’t ever lie again. You’ll always get caught and it always hurts someone else.”
Tim reflects often on his blessings and the legacy he received from his father to not take life seriously all of the time: “You have to laugh at life sometimes, that’s what keeps us going,” he shares with an ever-present chuckle.
By contrast another whom I do not know well, crosses my path on a weekly basis. I’m aware that many states require that you pump your own gas, but New Jersey law prohibits it so I have the pleasure of this gentleman’s good service and pleasant manner when I drive up to the pump at the service station in town. No matter what the weather I can always be sure of being greeted with a smile and “hello maam, how are you today?”
Perhaps his “good service and pleasant manner,” are not out of the ordinary, but I find it to be contagious. I want to reciprocate, for I too shall not pass this way again.
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