It used to happen to me a lot. I would be so deep in thought and in my head, that I didn’t notice things or people standing right in front of me. Aware that being this way can make others feel slighted, and also knowing that being action oriented is more productive, I have worked hard to change this behavior. Since I’m a work in progress, on this particular day, I was in that space. After work I went to the grocery store with my daughter, Miriam, who at the time was 8 years old. We did our shopping, my mind going back over the events of the day while trying to listen and be present for Miriam. As much as I tried, I was still very much in my head. We were in line behind a girl who had around five items. I was aware that she and the cashier were talking and things were taking longer than they should have, but at the same time I wasn’t really paying attention.
Among some of the things the girl wanted to purchase was a salad and a green juice from the salad bar. When she left the counter I noticed she had left those items and then I saw the cashier throw it away. Now this situation had my attention! I realized that she didn’t have enough money to buy everything that she’d chosen and had to leave her dinner behind. (Only to have it completely wasted by throwing it in the garbage, rather than just giving it to her. On a human level I never understand this.)
When I realized what had happened, it hit me all at once. I literally felt like someone had just shaken me out of a deep sleep. Fortunately, I asked Miriam to stay put in line with our groceries (although, that terrified me since she was only 8) and I raced out the front doors of the market. I saw the girl getting on her bicycle and I chased her down! I handed her a twenty and she looked genuinely confused. She first said, “No, I can’t accept it.” When I insisted, she said, “But how can I repay you?”
I said to her, “Just pay it forward. Next time someone is in need of assistance you have an obligation to help them.”
The point of this story isn’t to highlight what a giving individual I am, but instead to point out how close I came to losing an opportunity to share!
It was a few days before Rosh Hashanah, which is a very unique window in time where the month leading up to Rosh Hashanah is meant to be a time of introspection about the past year, where you access your actions and where you should have been kinder and more generous of heart and spirit. This opportunity was literally right under my nose and I nearly missed it because I was into myself in that given moment. This experience has remained my biggest reminder to keep watching out for opportunities to share, especially when I am in the exact opposite headspace.
During the month of Pisces (and we have two months of Pisces this year). The challenge of the month is to dispel all sadness from our emotions and be joyful, no matter what. This idea is especially significant. What makes a person consistently happy is if the Light is flowing through him or her all the time, and it is when we share that the Light flows through us. Simply put, giving to others makes us happy. The Light of the Creator – some call this light God or a higher power – has an abounding desire to share and our souls are comprised of that same Light. The idea is to be a constant giver, not necessarily in great ways or by grand measures but what is most important is the consciousness behind the giving
Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give. – Eleanor Roosevelt.
Thought into Action
There are opportunities for sharing all around you. There is no lack of situations for sharing; all that is lacking is our awareness of them. So, open your eyes and go out of your way to help someone else.
Yes, It Really IS the Thought That Counts
March 9, 2023
Is Everything Disposable? How to Connect With What Lasts
November 17, 2022
What is a True Teacher? Remembering Rav Berg
October 6, 2022