“What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows.”
– Paulo Coelho
Faith is a funny thing. Lots of people say they have it, but it doesn’t matter if it’s not yours. Like last week, this week was filled with hand grenades that seemed to just keep dropping into my foxhole. And that’s when my crisis of faith began to smolder.
Faith? I wonder if I’m being a fool. Positive Mental Attitude? What if it’s all a bunch of hooey. What good is it?
Such a frontal assault on the role of Faith in my life was as intimidating as it was unexpected. Especially since I’ve always operated under the premise that Faith is no less a muscle than my brain. The more you work either one, the more you learn about improving both. Right?
Long before I ever took a class in Education, my relatives had demonstrated the power of ‘Show one, Do one, Teach one‘. Like an old friend returned, it was all around me this week. Every time a new problem popped up, I’d turn around, just in time to see yet another angel show up. Store clerks, assistant managers, gas station guys and even a few customer service reps…one after the other…I was blinded by each of their personal decisions to be pleasant or particularly helpful.
But what caught me by surprise was how each display seemed to shrink my action-packed, challenge-rich week down to a more portable size. It was as if Life herself was on a mission to personally show me people doing what I knew to be doing – problems or not.
A little wobbly at the start, it became fun being on the look-out for an appropriate moment to do (or be) the same to someone else – as others had done for me (sound familiar anyone?). And just like PE class, the more I flexed my gratitude muscle, the better I felt. As my perspective improved, the midnight crazies retreated from the light.
Let me be clear, this is not some Jedi mind trick to anesthetize my feelings. In no way does the strategy minimize the need for skillful navigation of real-life’s white-water. I’m grateful my brain is very much present in this whole learning process. Since the days of Cain and Abel, crooked people have been preying on the good grace of others. We learn how to protect ourselves…to question and instantly decide to listen when our gut tells us to run – Now.
No, I think it is precisely because of our jungle survival skills, that witnessing a random act of kindness in-progress (‘…just because’) becomes thermonuclear. “Authentic” authenticated.
There’s nothing special about me. There have been plenty of nights and early mornings where I’ve laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, thinking about exactly how we were going to make it through. But we have. Wac-a-mole Champions or not, my Faith took its cues this week from the examples around me. It’s wild to wonder if each of those people realized just how significant they were to me in those minutes when our lives intersected. When I needed them the most, they were there – and didn’t even know it. Wow!
All I’m proposing is that, at the end of the day, we really do all need each other. Show one, do one, teach one. Somewhere this week, you’re going to run across someone in our Tribe who could use a hand. Claim your chance to flex a little of the power that is your One.
I can already tell. This, is going to be great!
“What we perceive as a failure may simply be our inner being’s way of telling us that we are ready to move to a new level of growth.”
– Anne Wilson Schaef
Photo Credit and Attributions: ‘Floating’ – http://www.whispy.com/blog/overcoming-adversity/ Random Acts of Grass: http://queensubewell.blogspot.com/2011/12/day-6-toadys-challenge-random-acts-of.html. Paulo Coelho – Thought For The Day – Oprah.com Newsletter (Jan. 26, 2012). Anne Wilson Schaef – Thought For The Day – Oprah.com Newsletter (Jan. 31, 2012). Native Grass: Manataka American Indian Council – http://www.manataka.org/page1953.html
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