It's a Start
Gary Smalley and John Trent
We know a wealthy couple in Dallas who have really struggled with teaching their children servant-hood. For one thing, the kids have had almost whatever they've wanted for years. They've become so accustomed to others meeting their needs that the idea of "serving" sounded like something from the Middle Ages... or Mars.
From Little House on the Freeway
In 1921 Lewis Lawes become the warden of Sing Sing Prison. No prison was tougher than Sing Sing during that time. But when Warden Lawes retired some 20 years later, that prison had became a humanitarian institution. Those who studied the system said credit for the change belonged to Lawes. But when he asked about the transformation, here's what he said: "I owe it all to my wonderful wife,
Catherine, who is buried outside the prison walls."
What's it like in your town?
Once there was an old and very wise man. Everyday he would sit outside a gas station in his rocking chair and wait to greet motorists as they passed through his small town. On this day his granddaughter knelt down at the foot of his chair and slowly passed the time with him.
A lot of the stories I was brought up on had to do with extreme actions - leaving everything behind, crossing the trackless wastes, and in those stories the people who stayed behind and had their settled ways - those people were not the people who got the prize.
The prize was California.
— Joan Didion —
Epictetus reflects on meetings
Epictetus (35 AD- 135 AD) was born a slave and became one of the great philosopher of Rome. He was expelled from the city in 94 A.D. and it was while in exile that he came up with a way of teaching his followers. Here is an extract from his Art of Living.
"Two things may happen when we meet someone: either we become friends or we try to convince that person to accept our beliefs. The same thing happens when a hot coal meets another piece of coal: it either shares its fire with it or is overwhelmed by other's size and is extinguished.
Thanksgiving Day editorial in the newspaper told of a school teacher who asked her first graders to draw a picture of something they were thankful for. She thought of how little these children from poor neighborhoods actually had to be thankful for. But she knew that most of them would draw pictures of turkeys on tables with food. The teacher was taken aback with the picture Douglas handed in.. a simple childishly drawn hand.
But whose hands? This class was captivated by the abstract image. "I think it must be the hand of God that brings us food," said one child. "A farmer," said another, "because he grows the turkeys." Finally when the others were back at work the teacher bent over Douglas' desk and asked whose hand it was. "It's your hand, Teacher," he mumbled.
She recalled that frequently at recess she had taken Douglas, a scrubby forlorn child, by the hand. She often did that with the children. But it meant so much to Douglas. Perhaps this was everyone's Thanksgiving, not for the material things given to us but for the chance, in whatever small way, to give to others.
Benevolence/ Attitude/ Awareness/ Helping Hands/ ThanksGiving