Oh the comfort--
the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person--
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pouring them all right out,
just as they are,
chaff and grain together,
certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

"Friendship" by M. M. Craik

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Life Needs Us All

I spent today doing some holiday shopping.  I have to admit that I'm pretty much a dedicated Internet shopper.  I would much rather spend an hour or so on my computer looking for the perfect gift than an afternoon dealing with parking and crowded stores. 

But today I decided to brave the crowds and off I went. It never takes long before I am standing with my mouth hanging open in shock as I observe the behavior of those people whose sense of entitlement is way out of perspective. 

I watched a woman--dressed to the nines in her designer best--who stood at the Post Office counter screaming at the clerk who would not give her a piece of tape for her package.  "A piece of tape" she shrieked, "you don't have a piece of tape?"  I think most people know that the post office will not tape your package, but this individual really believed if she screamed loud enough, the clerk would back down and pull out some tape. While I'm sure this type of behavior works more often than not, I do not understand moving through life with an attitude like this.  What makes a person choose to shriek at a clerk just doing his job rather than just purchase a roll of tape.  That is sold right there. At the Post Office. 

Luckily, my faith in humanity was restored later in the day by the kind cashier who kept his lane open just a little longer so he could check me out. After a long day of shopping, my arthritis was really acting up; without knowing this at all, the lovely young man took an extra few minutes to check out one more customer.  His small kindness really made my day.

All of this leads into today's poem.  We all have a place to fill to make the world a better place.  Some of us just don't realize it. 

There is so much that we can do,
A kind word spoken here and there
   Will ease another's weight of care;
Life needs us all.  The splendid few
   Who rise to fame, with all their skill
   Your post and mine can never fill.
If we who have not wealth or fame,
   should fail in all our little deeds,
   The world would sink beneath its needs;
Not by the greatness of a name,
   Nor by the splendor of success,
   Are hearts restored to happiness.
About us all are those who need
   The gifts which we have power to give;
   We can be friendly while we live
And by some thoughtful, kindly deed
   Can help another on his way--
   And that is service, come what may.
What though we miss the heights of skill,
   The splendor of the greater few,
   There is so much that we can do,
There is a place which we can fill--
   Always about us while we live,
   Are those who need what we can give.
                     ~ Edgar A. Guest

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