Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day Twelve - I Say a Little Prayer For You

  How many times in our lives does someone ask us to say a prayer for them?  How many times have you heard of someone's misfortune or an illness and sincerely said, "I'll pray for you?"  Did you really say a prayer?  Did you remember them when the moment passed and you had some quiet time to lift them up in prayer?  I know I am guilty of giving lip service to this very same promise.  My intentions are good at the time, but then it slips my mind and I forget to pray.  But what if YOU were the one who needed the prayer?  Would you want that person to forget to pray for you?  Today I decided to take it a step further and pray for someone I didn't know!  My ARK went to a complete stranger!  Today I heard of a tragic incident at my daughter's college--a young man committed suicide.  All day this news has weighed heavy on my heart; perhaps because it hits really close to home for any parent.  Then I was struck with a sudden and strong urge to pray for his parents.  I don't even know them, but I prayed that our Lord will have mercy on this family and help them to bear the unbearable.  I prayed that they will not spend the rest of their lives agonizing over the question that must be running through their minds, "Was there something we could have done differently." I prayed that somehow in His infinite wisdom, our Lord will comfort them and carry this family as it passes  through the storm.  I was comforted after I prayed and I hope that my prayers will somehow comfort them as well.
     I made a commitment to continue praying for others.  Not just my family and friends, but also for complete strangers:  the beggar on the street corner, the frustrated teacher at school, the isolated child in the lunchroom, the lady who looks so sad all the time in the grocery store.  Maybe one day I'll find that my tiny prayers made a difference to someone.  Maybe people will pray for me, God knows I could use them.  So the next time someone tells you about their gallbladder surgery and asks you to pray for them--do it!  Stop everything at that instant and take a moment to pray.  You have nothing to lose and they have everything to gain!

     "Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing."  ~ Mother Teresa

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day Eleven - Be Annoyingly Pleasant!

     This evening I had to make the dreaded trip to the grocery store--one of my least favorite things to do.  There is nothing about the grocery store that I like and I always walk in there with a poor attitude, keep my head down and get in and out as fast as possible.
     Tonight, I made up my mind that there was no way out of it so I may as well try to make it as pleasant as possible.  I pasted a smile on my face and walked through the door with a positive attitude.  I have shopped at the same grocery store for five years and have never paid attention to the staff.  I walked right up to the bakery counter and politely asked the baker to slice a loaf of bread for me.  He was pleasant and friendly and I noticed his name tag (Gerald) and I began to strike up a conversation with him.  The more I asked, the more animated he became.  He seemed genuinely pleased that a customer had taken the time to notice him and ask about his family and his life and to compliment him on his job
      Next I moved on to the Deli counter where I also had a nice chat with Maylene.  She was lovely to chat with and her whole demeanor changed also once I began to notice her and make pleasant conversation.  I moved through the store and spoke to everyone and gave a big smile and "hello" to every shopper I passed.  People must have thought I was high!  I got tickled at myself when I realized that I was reminding myself of my grandparents and how they had to stop and talk to EVERYONE whenever I took them out.  But you know what, the members of their community loved my grandparents and my grandparents loved them! Now I know why!  I got through the checkout process talking and laughing with Nancy the whole time and a wonderfully friendly Kenny carried my groceries to the car.  I got in my car and thought to myself, "that wasn't bad at all.  I actually didn't mind the shopping tonight!" More importantly, I connected to others and showed them I appreciate what they do.  It was a good feeling!
      "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." 
     ~ Mother Teresa 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day Ten - Choose Wisely

     I received the following message in an email today and I couldn't have found the words to say it better myself...
     "Sometimes we have to choose whether we want to be right, or whether we want to be happy.  Sometimes we have to keep our opinions, issues, grievances and complaints to ourelves in order to love and respect others who are important to us.
     It doesn't make you weak to bite your tongue when the conversation gets heated.  Live your truth, and let others live theirs . . . making a choice to show love and patience instead of proving ourselves right when the issue really doesn't matter more than the person and the relationship does . . . choose your battles wisely.  People we love are always more important than just about anything."
     My husband and I have been married for twenty years.  As do most couples who have been together most of their lives, we tend to bicker about the small, insignificant things.  We love each other passionately and would lay down our lives for one another, but somehow that doesn't matter when he forgets to change the empty toilet paper roll or I have a different opinion than him over how the bougainvillea should be pruned!  We tend to have a battle of wills and sometimes we dig our heels in and refuse to budge just for the sake and satisfaction of being right.  How silly is that?  It took this email I received to make me realize that the choice is to be right or to be happy.  After all, what difference does it make and who is keeping score?  The most important thing to me is that he is happy and knows I love and respect him.  I can't show him that by proving my points every chance I get.
     So today, I gave in to a battle.  I won't say what it was about, but I did know in my heart that I was right. You know what?  It didn't matter.  I conceded easily and the conversation was over as quickly as it had begun.  He looked surprised--I could tell he was geared up for an argument--but I gave in and we were both happy.  It was over and he thought he was right and I knew I was right.  It was a win-win situation!  I'll save my battles for the things that are truly meaningful and life-altering--not on the trivial little things that clog up our relationships!

     “It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.”
     ~ Mother Teresa

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day Nine - Kill them with Kindness

     I spend a lot of time shopping in a local arts & crafts store (a big chain whose name I won't mention).  It's one of my favorite stores, but unfortunately, the manager is a very grumpy lady who has zero customer service skills.  Every time I go in there, I get very frustrated at how rude and abrupt she is--to the customers and to her employees.  She is very confrontational and condescending and I often wonder how she achieved a position as high as store manager.  I know I shouldn't let it bother me, but I have owned several retail businesses myself and the most important part of my business was customer satisfaction.  I really have to bite my tongue when I go in there and if there were another store like it in the area, I would not return to this one.
     Well, with my new found attitude and commitment to being kind, I went into the store today determined to be genuinely nice and to 'kill her with kindness.'  After all, you never can be sure why a person acts the way they do.  Maybe this woman has no joy in her life or has had some unbearable sadness. Maybe she is so used to being grumpy that she has forgotten how to smile.  I was on a mission to find out.  She was at the cash register snapping out orders to her staff and even with a long line, she had only one clerk working the sales desk.  As I walked up, I looked directly at her and asked how she was today.  She turned away and spoke to her employee and completely ignored me.  Not to be defeated, I tried again to make conversation but this time, she told her clerk to take over and walked away and her salesperson gave me an apologetic look. And that was the end of it.  I wasn't successful with my ARK today (or was I?) but I won't give up.  Instead of being angry with this lady now, I actually feel sorry for her.  Maybe she needs some love and kindness in her life to break down the wall she has put up.  I'll keep trying whenever I go back and I'll keep you posted!  But even if it didn't seem like I made an impact on her--I sure felt better about myself today!

     "We must convert our love for Christ into deeds. We must express Christian love in concrete, living ways."
     ~ Mother Teresa

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day Eight - Use Facebook for Something Positive

     How many of you have a 'facebook' page?  I decided to get one a few years back when my kids were younger and I wanted the ability to monitor their online activities and watch for potential predators.  Within a few hours of developing my 'page,' I had many 'friend requests' and was so surprised that people were seeking me out!  I soon realized that facebook was a cyber black hole and was sucking me in deeper and deeper.  I found myself spending hours online catching up with old friends and watching the news feeds to see what everyone is doing.  I also noticed my kids were 'collecting' friends and all of the teenagers were having an unspoken competition to see who had more friends.  I watched my own friend numbers grow and was allowing anyone to 'friend me'--even if I had seen or spoken to them in 30 years!  I think the most bizarre friend request came from a friend of my older brother's who remembered me in junior high school - strange, huh?  It didn't take me long to realize facebook was eating valuable time and also I was uncomfortable with sharing my hour by hour activities during the day.  I was allowing people to violate my own privacy!  After I stepped away from this narcissistic practice for a while, I found I missed some of the people I had been reacquainted with and decide to continue--in moderation!
     So what does my ARK have to do with facebook?  I decided to use this vehicle today to reach out to a person who I was acquaintances with in high school and now am friends with on facebook.  You see, I have dozens and dozens of high school people on my friend's list, but I actually didn't know them well in high school and after thirty years, can't even imagine what we would have in common now.  I thought that was a sad fact.  I shouldn't have been so self-absorbed and shallow in high school--I should have taken the time to really get to know people and I should have stayed in touch with those I cared for.  Today, I decided to pick an obscure friend and post a comment to them remembering something significant and nice about them from school.  I thought it would be difficult, but when I got out my high school yearbook and looked at the pictures and things people had written to me, a lot of very happy memories came flooding in.  It was a nice trip down memory lane, and the person I wrote to on facebook seemed genuinely pleased that I had remembered these nice things about her.  I hope I made her feel good--I know it made me feel good and wish I had paid more attention to her thirty years ago!

     "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
     ~ Mother Teresa

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day Seven - Comfort a Lonely Soldier

     Today I was reading a book about a soldier who received letters from home and he counted on them to get through the difficult and often lonely task of protecting our nation.  This got me thinking about all of the men and women who serve us and I wondered if there were organizations that support the troops who may not have family or receive little or no mail.  A quick internet search led me to a site called Soldier's Angels  (https://soldiersangels.org/) which, among other things, will help you to make a connection to one or more soldiers that you can write or send care packages to.  What an awesome idea!  I happen to be in favor of "old fashioned-letter writing" so I was on board right away!  I went through the sign-in process and am now waiting to be assigned a soldier to 'adopt.'  I am thrilled at the prospect and I'm reminded of when I was younger and had 'pen pals' all over the world.  I used to love writing the letters to my friends but I especially loved receiving them!  So today, I am reaching out to someone special . . . a person who stands thousands and thousands of miles away . . . willingly protecting our freedom.  I just want to say, "thanks."

     "There is a terrible hunger for love.   We all experience that in our lives - the pain, the loneliness.  We must have the courage to recognize it.  The poor you may have right in your own family. Find them. Love them."
     ~ Mother Teresa

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day Six - Making contact with an old friend . . .

    So today I stayed home all day.  It was a beautiful Saturday and I spent the day outdoors doing yard work.  Before I knew it, the day was over and I realized I had no human contact, thus no chance for an ARK!  I began to think about how I could reach out and do something for someone so I sat at my computer and scanned the internet for a while.  How could I share some kindness?  Then it came to me . . . how many people are in my address book that I have lost track of or haven't done a very good job keeping in touch with?  I looked through my address book and came across a wonderful friend that I've known for nearly 20 years.  Unfortunately, when I moved about five years ago, I did a lousy job of keeping in touch and I felt disconnected from her.  That's it!  I've thought about her so many times and keep telling myself I will drop her a line, but time goes by and I never make the effort.  I sat down this evening and wrote her a long email catching her up with my family and asking questions about hers.  Gosh it felt so good to make contact again.  I realized how much I missed her!  So now, the only thing left to do is wait for her response.  I feel good inside!  Now I want to go through the rest of my address book and reach out to all the people who have been special in my life who I have let slip through my fingers.  I don't want to let them go - I want to pull them closer.

"If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it."
~ Mother Teresa

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day Five - Courtesy for a Frustrated Mother

     Today's ARK was quite unexpected.  This evening I stopped by the grocery store to quickly pick up a few needed items.  I stood in an insufferably long line and all the while, there was a mother behind me with an overflowing cart and three small and very unhappy children.  At first, I was annoyed at their behavior and was impatiently waiting for my turn so I could get out of there and away from the chaos behind me.  But then I turned to look at the mayhem and my irritation quickly melted as I truly saw the mother and viewed myself many years ago.  She looked weary as she was trying hard to deal with tired and hungry children and I realized that after she checked out, she still had to strap the children in their car seats, unload the groceries, travel home, put her groceries away and probably then had to prepare dinner.  I felt compassion and a sense of sisterhood while my mind traveled back to that time in my life.  Now I grocery shop alone, my teenaged children off doing their own thing.  A felt a pang of longing and my compassion turned to envy.  Where did those years go?  When I was having those difficult "motherhood moments," I never once stopped to think that one day I would be sad that my children would be past that stage and go out the door.  No longer annoyed, I turned to her as I was about to place my few little groceries on the conveyor belt.  I told her to please go ahead of me and she seemed shocked and embarrassed.  She apologized for her children's behavior and I told her please not to be sorry.  I said, "they seem tired and hungry and you must have a long evening ahead of you--I have nothing to do when I get home and I'm in no hurry.  Your children make me miss my kids".  Her embarrassment turned to gratitude and I could see her mood change instantly.  She got through the checkout process quickly and as she was leaving, she turned and looked at me and thanked me with a heartfelt nod.  For a moment, I felt like I was watching myself walk out that door and felt a familiar ache in my heart.  God bless you special mother--enjoy every moment, even the difficult ones.

"Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush,anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world."
 ~ Mother Teresa 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day Four - A Smile and a Wave

    I live in a neighborhood where unfortunately, most people keep to themselves.  Although I am in Florida where the climate is conducive to people staying outdoors, it seems that most people live in the back of their houses and never really mingle out front.  It has been challenging meeting our neighbors and I never see a couple of men talking over the hedge or a group of women standing out front chatting while their children play.  It's sad, really.  When I grew up, we were always involved with the people in our neighborhood.  We were in the yard or streets playing kick ball and our parents were constantly outside socializing.  It was community.  It was family.
     Sadly, we live in a time where we have to relentlessly watch our children and the adults are so busy or self-involved that they never have time to take a few minutes to go visit a neighbor.  When we moved in two years ago, I wondered where the "welcome wagon" was or why no one stopped in to introduce themselves.  In fact, the first Halloween we were here, we threw a giant party and sent an invitation to everyone on our street and opened our doors wide to whoever wanted to come in.  It was a lot of fun and we met so many people.  That was a year and a half ago, and yet we still don't see any of them socially!  I spend a lot of time in my garden and whenever I am out in front, I always throw my hand out to wave at a neighbor walking or driving by.  Sometimes I get nothing in return or stranger still, the neighbors will do a double-take to make sure they actually saw someone!  Occasionally, they throw an awkward and meaningless wave back.
     This became a challenge to me.  Why are people so closed-off now?  Where is the sense of friendliness?  About 9 months ago, I started to notice a tiny elderly woman slowly walking by the house on a walker with wheels.  Her steps were labored and she seemed to be in a lot of pain.  I surmised that she had probably broken a hip and was trying to exercise her injuries.  Day after day, she tediously walked by--sometimes several times a day.  I admired her determination and remembered years ago when my grandmother broke her hip and how the doctors told her if she didn't force herself to walk on it, she may never recover.  I know it was extremely painful for her and I imagined my little neighbor felt much the same way.  I always raised my hand to wave or shout out a hello, but she always looked away and didn't respond.  Odd, I know, but the more she didn't respond, the more I tried to make contact.  For months and months I watched her and eventually she was flying by on the walker and soon after that, she was walking on her own!  It made me so happy to see that she was healing and although she was still bent over a little to the side, I admired her strength and perserverence.  I continued to wave, whether I was driving by or just standing out front as she went by, but still no response.  I was frustrated, but I persisted.  Eventually she would acknowledge me with a little nod of the head and I knew I was making progress!
     Today, my determination paid off!  I was pulling out of my driveway as she was approaching and I stopped to let her cross.  Lo and behold, she looked me right in the eye and gave me the biggest grin and an exuberant wave.  I was elated!  She finally returned my gestures of friendship (either that, or she was too tired to fight it anymore)!  Either way, it didn't matter!  She acknowledged me!  Now the question is, did I perform an act of random kindness, or did she?

     "A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you're at home."  ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day Three - Resist Road Rage

   Wow, I almost didn't get to my ARK today . . . I was coming home from a doctor's appointment in an area of town I really wasn't familiar with and I realized at the last minute that I was in the far right lane and needed to be in the far left to make my exit.  I turned on my signal and tried to ease over, but the guy to my left sped up and would not let me in!  I kept trying but he stayed right in my way.  He pulled up beside me as I was approaching the last chance for my exit and I threw my hand up in a gesture as if to say, "hey buddy, what gives?  Let me in."  This crazy guy became enraged and stayed right beside me for at least half a mile, making obscene gestures and I could see the rage in his face and in his actions.  If I sped up, he sped up--If I slowed to let him by, he slowed.  It actually got a little scary but eventually he screeched off (of course, too late to make my exit).  I was really frustrated and a little bewildered.  I kept wondering what in the world would cause a person to get so angry?  All I wanted to do was get over and he easily could have slowed to let me in.  It would have been the right thing to do.  I just couldn't believe someone was so mean for no apparent reason.  I was really pissed but resisted the urge to follow and do the same to him (even though I really wanted to!)  At that moment, I felt like the character of Evelyn Couch in "Fried Green Tomatoes" when a couple of young girls whipped into her parking spot and mistreated her for no reason.  She wondered what she did to make someone be so mean.  Then she turns into "Towanda" and proceeds to smash into the girls' car!  Well, I didn't shout "Towanda," but I sure wanted to.  Still shaking and scratching my head, I decided to turn my anger into something constructive.  The rest of the day, I tried to be a more considerate driver.  I let people get over when they needed to.  I allowed people to merge and turn in front of me.  Ordinarily, I am oblivious of others when I drive, but I took the time to look around and reach out to others from behind the wheel of my vehicle.  It felt good.  It also didn't cost me any time and I had a stress-free drive.  I'd also like to think that the people I was considerate of appreciated it and made them less stressed too!
     And as for the guy with "Road Rage" (and you know who you are, Mr. Silver Subaru on Rt. 417), I hope your day gets better and I will pray for you!
     "If you judge people, you have no time to love them"  ~ Mother Teresa

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day Two - Stop to Really Listen

     Twice weekly, I attend oil painting classes at a lovely little studio in my neighborhood.  I usually go in and set up my little spot and keep to myself.  It is like a retreat for me and I get into my "zone" and disappear into my painting.  Most of the clientele in the studio are retired men and women and I've noticed that they have a strong bond and it seems to be more of a social event for them rather than a technical lesson on oil painting.  Throughout the class time there are many conversations going on around me and these other students usually walk around and admire everyone's work and stop to chat.  I keep my head low and smile when it is appropriate, but I try not to engage anyone else.  I really joined so that I could learn to paint properly and sometimes I find myself annoyed at the interruptions.  After all, this is an indulgent treat in my ordinarily hectic life and I am very protective of these precious hours.
      Today, I realized that I was missing the point.  Sure, I was learning to paint but I definitely wasn't learning much about relating to others.  What a snob I must have seemed to the people around me.  On this day, I forced myself to look up from my work and take stock of those around me.  I have never bothered to get up and compliment anyone else's work.  In fact, I've never done more than just smile politely and look away.  Disgraceful.  I got up and walked around the room today and admired the beautiful artwork around me, but I especially noticed the lovely people for the first time.  I stopped to chat with an elderly woman who comes in every week carrying an oxygen tank with her.  She was painting a portrait of her granddaughter and I mentioned what a beautiful girl she was.  The woman's face lit up and I could see the pride and love she had for her granddaughter and she began to tell me all about her.  I became genuinely interested in everything she had to say as she described her family and how excited she was to be able to travel to her granddaughter's high school graduation and she hoped to finish the portrait in time to present it to her as a gift.  I was reminded of my own grandmother who passed away just a few months ago and how she just loved to visit and to talk.  We chatted for at least 15 minutes and unconsciously, I had performed my ARK (act of random kindness).  In those brief minutes, I had stopped to truly listen to this woman and I could tell she was overjoyed to share.  More importantly, I made a new friend today and learned a valuable lesson.  What good are my art lessons if I can't take a moment to enjoy my surroundings and the people I come into contact with.  Art is all around me, not just on the canvas, but on the faces of those whose paths I cross every day!  At once, I was embraced with the friendship of everyone in that room and not only did they see me through different eyes--I saw all of them for the first time.

     "I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor? "  ~ Mother Teresa

Monday, April 5, 2010

Day One - Reach out to a Friend

I have a friend who has been battling breast cancer for the past year.  But before I get into that, let me explain what a wonderful person she is . . . creative, artistic, warm and loving.  I met her through some classes she was teaching and she treated me as a friend from the moment we met.  She included me in many of the things she was doing and made certain that she introduced me to everyone she knew and always made me feel welcome. Through her, I have gained many more friends and I  had great admiration for her before cancer--I have even more now!  When she was first diagnosed, I happened to be standing there with her when she hung up the phone after confirmation from her doctor.  What an impact that news had on me.  I saw the fear and trepidation in her eyes and she hugged me so tightly as if her embrace would help to take some of the burden off of her and somehow transfer it to me.  How I wish that could have been true. To make matters worse, her husband is a civilian contractor stationed in Afghanistan so she was destined to make this journey alone.  Fortunately, she is loved by so many and as women do, they circled the wagons around their dear friend to help her through the ordeal of biopsies, x-rays, scans and chemo.  As her treatment progressed, I found myself busy with my own life and sometimes weeks would go by without my ever picking up the phone to see how she was doing.  Some friend I was.  It was very easy in the beginning to rally around to cheer or help her, but eventually people tend to forget about others and get caught up in their own universe.  The more time I let slip by, the guiltier I felt about not calling to check on her and I would push the thoughts to the back of my mind until even more weeks and months went by.

I made up my mind this morning that my friend was too important to me and it didn't matter how much time had passed . . . I wanted to see her and do something nice for her.  After all, what if I were alone and dealing with such a scary issue?  Wouldn't I want others to reach out to me?  Would I be mad or bothered if long periods of time went by without hearing from my friends?  Of course not.  I would be so grateful to hear from them and would probably long for their companionship.

So today, my act of random kindness was reaching out to a friend in need.  It was so good to hear her voice and I could tell she was happy to hear from me.  We caught up with each other on the phone and made a firm date to get together next week.  Guess what?  I think the call was more therapeutic for me than it was for her.  A friend once told me that a truly kind person is one who not only thinks of something nice to do, but also takes the steps to act upon it.

Take a moment today and reach out to someone you haven't seen or talked to in a while.  If God places them in your thoughts and in your heart like He did for me, maybe it is His way of telling you that you are needed to do His work.

And as for my friends' prognosis . . . she is finished chemotherapy and begins radiation soon.  So far, all scans are clean and her doctors are hopeful that she will have a full recovery!  God is good!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person ~ Mother Teresa

     For months now, I've been struggling with a strong pull to somehow make a difference in this world.  Maybe it's the fact that I turned 50 this year, or the nagging feeling that I am taking up space on this earth without making a contribution; but either way, I've known for a while that I am being called to a greater purpose--I just didn't know what it was. Sitting in Mass last night during the Easter Vigil, I was moved by the beautiful service in the tiny little church we were visiting in Dillon, Colorado--aptly named "Our Lady of Peace." Each parishioner held a candle in the darkened church and as I was enveloped in the strong smell of incense and got lost in the readings, I felt at peace.  I glanced around and to the right of the altar, a family sat in a darkened corner.  I noticed they had arrived a bit late and did not receive a candle.  Instinctively and without hesitation, I walked over to the mother of the family and handed her my candle.  Our eyes met for a moment and I not only saw, but also felt the gratitude as she looked at me.  It was at that moment that I knew . . . a simple act of random kindness was all it took to bring happiness to another.  It didn't cost me a thing and I expended little effort, but with that single gesture, I knew I made a difference to someone.  My mind began to reel . . . was this what I was being called to do?  If I were to make just one such gesture a day, would it make a difference?  Could my kindness possibly encourage others to be kind? Just like the experiment in the movie "Pay it Forward," I wondered what it would be like if we all took just a moment a day to show unsolicited warmth and concern for another.  It sounds so simple, and yes--I am a dreamer, but on the other hand, is there a down-side? At the very least, it will make me a better person and at best . . . well, who knows?

And just like the candle in mass last night, I want to spread Christ's light to others as He calls us to do.  So starting tomorrow, I pledge to make one random gesture of kindness to another every day for the next year.  If you read this blog, try it yourself and share your random acts and the responses you get and maybe together we can start a ground-swelling of selflessness.

"In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love" ~ Mother Teresa