Posts Tagged ‘caring’

A Few Caring Words

July 21, 2015

man-grieving-in-park-trees

Who among us has not at times been out and about, feeling sad and lonely and in need of a kind word or comforting hand on our shoulder? How grateful would you be if someone passing by had stopped and, with genuine concern, asked, “Are you okay?” Such a simple, caring gesture would add a little more light, a little more hope to your day.

You can be that bringer of light, that beacon of hope, to others. All it takes is an awareness of others and a loving heart.

A person with the screen name Tomo840 shared how just a little effort made a big, big difference to a distressed man in a city park. Tomo840 was feeding deer when he saw the man in the photograph above sobbing uncontrollably. He wrote:

Families out walking and others in the park scuttled past him awkwardly trying to avoid him.

I watched (more…)

Nothing But Pain

July 6, 2014

homeless-man-on-street-despairI was moved by this story by Becky Lee, which was printed on Quora. It’s taken me a while but I’m getting better at looking past a person’s appearance and circumstances, perceiving their needs and, when appropriate, trying to connect with them on a meaningful level. Becky’s story reinforces  a great truth: every human being is in need of caring, comfort and kindness. Like Becky, I do what I can when I can, knowing that even the slightest bit of attention and loving concern can change a life.

Seek to do brave and lovely things which are left undone by the majority of people. Give gifts of love and peace to those whom others pass by.
Paramahansa Yogananda



JUST TAKE EVERYTHING
by Becky Lee

I was recently sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for an appointment. A man approached the reception desk with no shirt on, using it as a sling around his leg.

He was sweating profusely and he stunk. He was dirty. He looked like a bum. He was pleading with the receptionist to get a doctor to see him because he didn’t have any pain pills.

The receptionist and I smirked at each other and everyone in the waiting room shot each other a knowing glance . . . as if we were all thinking, “Oh, brother.”

The receptionist patronizingly explained that he would have to make an appointment and the doctor was too busy to renew his prescription. She refused to ask. I felt like rolling my eyes at this man. I mean, HELLO DUDE, make an appointment and for God sakes put on a shirt and have some self-respect. He disgusted me.

At that moment the man dropped to the floor and looked up at the sky. He started to weep. I mean REALLY WEEP. I will never forget what he said.

He said,   (more…)

A Thank You Letter to a Grocery Store Angel

April 1, 2014

This blog post from Andrea’s blog, True Stories of a Midwest Yankee, powerfully illustrates the impact that a simple act of kindness can have on the lives of strangers. Let it serve as a reminder to stay alert for opportunities to help others. You are quite literally surrounded by opportunities to be somebody’s angel for the day; all you have to do it is hold the intention that you wish to help and stay aware for the right time to step forward.


 TO THE WOMAN BEHIND ME IN LINE AT THE GROCERY STORE

Dear woman behind me in line at the grocery store,

grocery-store-receipt-stranger-paidYou don’t know me. You have no clue what my life has been like since October 1, 2013. You have no clue that my family has gone through the wringer. You have no clue that we have faced unbelievable hardship. You have no clue we have been humiliated, humbled, destitute.

You have no clue I have cried more days than not; that I fight against bitterness taking control of my heart. You have no clue that my husband’s pride was shattered. You have no clue my kids have had the worries of an adult on their shoulders. You have no clue their innocence was snatched from them for no good reason. You know none of this.

What you do know is I tried to buy my kids some food and that the EBT machine was down so I couldn’t buy that food. I didn’t have any cash or my debit card with me. I only had my SNAP card. All you heard was me saying “No, don’t hold it for me. My kids are hungry now and I have no other way of paying for this.” You didn’t judge me. You didn’t snarl “Maybe you should have less kids.” You didn’t say “Well, get a job and learn to support yourself.” You didn’t look away in embarrassment or shame for me. You didn’t make any assumptions at all.

What you did was you (more…)

Walking on Holy Ground

December 24, 2013

dog-petting-a-doe


If you’re looking for a way to transform the world by transforming lives, here’s a profound and powerful way to do just that:




In every interaction you have with another human being, do your best to genuinely and authentically convey that they are valued, cared for and appreciated.


How to do that? It can be as simple as listening with affection and excitement. Or it can take the form of a warm, sincere smile and an honest compliment. Today, instead of giving a friend of mine a quick hug goodbye, I felt that something more was called for because she was in despair. So I (more…)

The Friend Who Cares

March 21, 2012

This afternoon I ran into a few friends on the sidewalk. They were talking about the perils of counseling someone they all knew who was going through some troubles. One young man in his twenties noted that he had recently learned that, “It doesn’t matter if you’re right; if you hurt her feelings, you’re wrong.” When I congratulated him on his awareness, he acknowledged that it was a lesson that had been incredibly hard for him to learn and that he still had a ways to go.

I could relate. When my daughter was in high school, she told me about a challenge she was facing. I lit up because I had gone through the same thing myself and knew exactly what to do. But when I tried to tell her how to take care of it, she interrupted me and said, ‘“Dad, I (more…)

Six Minutes

January 6, 2012

This afternoon at the place where I volunteer, I overheard two women I know who are a bit older than me mention that they were tired and dragging. Since I’m a certified massage therapist, I asked if they’d like a neck-and-shoulder rub in the lunchroom. (I do three-minte shoulder massages for yoga students at a nearby yoga studio three times a week in exchange for free classes.) Both enthusiastically accepted my offer.

During the seated-chair massages, each of which lasted about six minutes, I learned that one woman’s husband had been (more…)

The Balcony of Introspection

March 1, 2010

The more you can step back and view whatever happens as an impartial observer, rather than as a victim, the more peaceful you will be.

Much of our inner turbulence reflects the fear of loss: our dependence on people, circumstances, and things not really under our control. On some level we know that death, indifference, rejection, repossession, or high tide may leave us bereft in the morning. Still, we clutch desperately at things we cannot finally hold. Nonattachment is the most realistic of attitudes. It is freedom from wishful thinking, from always wanting things to be otherwise.
Marilyn Ferguson

Paramahansa Yogananda urged his devotees to “look dispassionately at the drama of your life from the balcony of introspection.”

To become a spectator of one’s own life is to escape the suffering of life.
Oscar Wilde

Impartially observing the circumstances of a loved one’s life may be more difficult. After all, you (more…)

Knee Jerk

February 8, 2010

This brief story from The Big Book of Small Business, a book I wrote with Tires Plus founder Tom Gegax, is an excellent reminder to avoid being so self-absorbed that we fail to consider what the person in front of us is going through.

Several years ago, I found myself hunched over my laptop on a flight from Minneapolis to San Diego. I was trying to nail a deadline under less than ideal conditions, made worse by the oaf in front of me who fully cranked his seat into my lap. Agitated over this guy’s boxing in my six-foot, two-inch frame, I sank my knees, already pressed into his seat, a little deeper to send a message. Forty-five minutes later, a woman (more…)

Out With Type A and Type B . . . In With Type E!

June 19, 2009

tom-gegax-michael-levinWhile writing The Big Book of Small Business with Tires Plus founder Tom Gegax, I challenged myself to come up with a fun, descriptive way to describe enlightened business leaders. Then it hit me—instead of Type A or Type B, enlightened leaders were Type E! Here’s how we described them in the book:

big-book-of-small-business-coverSeat-of-the-pantsers typically come in two types: Type A, dictator, hard-driving, self-centered, gets results but leaves a trail of human debris; or, Type B, doormat, passive, people pleaser, tolerates less productivity. Enlightened leaders—let’s call them Type E—produce uncommon, sustainable results through firm, but caring, leadership coupled with “best practices.” Type E leaders are ever alert and nurturing. They leverage intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to deepen connections and inspire achievement.

The good news is, Type E leadership is (more…)