“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough” Mae West
My current reading list includes the following books: Twelve Steps to A More Compassionate Life, The Happiness Advantage, and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. It’s funny how I ended up with these three books at the same time for totally different reasons and from different sources. It’s almost like the universe is trying to tell me something.
I will admit that I am on a journey of self-discovery. Believe me when I say, it’s not going to be a short trip. After all, life is about growing and changing. You just don’t get to a magic number and declare you are now done. If only it were so easy, we'd all be wise beyond our years at 30.
The things with which I seek have evolved on this journey. I am no longer striving for perfection, because I’ve come to realize that it's impossible and frankly, it’s stupid. So, I can throw that silly goal aside. I spent a part of my journey looking for everyone to like me. If you are too, let me spare you the trouble. It’s not going to happen. I’ve also tossed that aside. I’m not seeking great riches, because I know I’m already wealthy beyond words to have my health and my family’s health. No, what I’m seeking now is to make the world a better place for my children. The older I get, the more I feel that I must leave the world a better place than when I entered it. Now that’s a lofty goal. Attainable? I haven’t got a clue, but I’m going to die trying.
Lord knows I’m not perfect. I falter every day. I absolutely have moments of intolerance, hate, and ignorance. I have the ability though to stand outside of myself and say “You can do better, Candace.” Philanthropy, charity, giving back, whatever you want to call it, has become a huge part of my life. It keeps me connected and reminds me that the world does not revolve around little old me.
When I hear about a elderly woman who froze to death outside recently, despite the fact that people heard her screaming, I think, “Are we losing our humanity?” Stories like this are unending and every time I hear one, the drum beats a little louder for me. The desire to make a difference gets stronger.
Today I saw something that filled me up.
A group of Christians formed a protective chain around a group of praying Muslims in Egypt. The tragedy that is happening in Egypt is unimaginable, but this one image shows that our humanity is strong. I think we need to be reminded of that. I know I certainly do. I also think we need to hold each other accountable for tragedies like the woman in Toronto. That’s just not the fault of a few callous people but a failure for our society. Kindness takes effort, it requires us to step out of our comfort zone. It is also one of the most wonderful contagions there is. Don’t be shy, spread it around people. It’s one of the most rewarding things you or I will ever do.
I was reminded today of this video called the Charter for Compassion. I can not watch it without getting chills. Let me know if it inspires you too.