A Slice of Humble Pie
By: Cyndi Wilkins
(4 min read)
One of the greatest contributions we can make to humankind is in service to others. When we help others, we help ourselves, especially when we aid those who can offer us nothing in return. It is a selfless act with no expectation of reward.
The reward is in how good you feel in doing so. It makes your heart feel lighter and fills you with joy and the desire to help your fellow man. That is the art of giving. Love, when multiplied by many, has the power to change the world.
Small acts of kindness often create the greatest results. A pair of gloves, a warm coat, or a hat for a homeless person. If you can afford a small financial donation to an animal shelter or soup kitchen, or even a bit of your time to help care for the animals or serve a meal to hungry families in need.
Shelters are always looking for additional help around the holidays. What a great gift to give yourself too! It is a very moving experience that fills you with gratitude for your own good fortune. A slice of humble pie is good for everyone.
Speaking of slices, I heard a wonderful story about a pizza shop owner who began offering a free slice of pizza to the neighborhood homeless every Thursday. His patrons were so moved by the shop owner’s generosity and the gratitude displayed by these starving people that they began donating money to the cause.
Now, the pizza shop owner can afford to offer more meals to more people several days a week. That is what I call ‘awesomeness in action!’ People helping people, one slice at a time. The joy of giving is contagious!
But what happens when we are not enjoying what we do? When operating from a place of suffering, we pass that vibe on to anything or anyone we interact with. If we stagnate in a place of unhappiness, we become toxic, not only to ourselves but to everything we touch. We all know how misery loves company.
Twenty years ago, a good friend of mine had a modestly successful small business in my hometown for over thirty years. She was often referred to as the ‘Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine’ and created a consciousness of good health among the locals.
However, after thirty years of business as usual and slumping sales, my friend decided to join forces with a business partner to expand her small vitamin shop to include a vegan/smoothie bar. She had expected it would do well, being the only establishment of that kind in a small town full of health fanatics, but it failed shortly after opening.
Unfortunately, she had chosen a manipulative business partner who bamboozled her way into the job by camouflaging herself as an expert in the field of business start-ups and expansion. She turned out to be nothing more than a fraud.
I was working for my friend at the time while I was transitioning from a civil service career to creating my own business in therapeutic massage. I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to learn about vitamins and supplements from the master herself without having to pay eleven hundred dollars to take a course through the school I was attending.
I soon realized the business was failing and asked what the problem was. She admitted that she hadn’t been happy for several years prior to the recent downturn in business, so she thought bringing in a partner and expanding would change all of that…except it didn’t. So, she thought.
My first thought was, sure, it did! It has changed everything. She was not enjoying what she was doing anymore, so along came this bad business partner to change all that. Then, I asked her what brought her joy in life. She said she loved to sew.
She also revealed that she really enjoyed the energy of working with children and would be so happy to bring the long-lost skill of sewing and needlepoint back to the hearts and minds of young children. She felt very strongly that our children were being deprived of many of the arts with the recent cutbacks in school budgets.
“Well, there you have it! That is why your business failed.” I told her. “You are not happy anymore with what you are doing, so life has presented you with an opportunity to change all that.”
Sure, she did attempt a change, but it came from a place where she was no longer feeling joy. She also said that she had felt bullied by her new partner, who made terrible business decisions creating a debt she could not overcome. Bankruptcy soon followed.
Not long after the business folded, a client of mine, who was the director of a summer camp for a private school, asked me if I knew anyone who could teach a sewing class for her summer program. Coincidence? Hardly. I do not believe in coincidences.
Better yet, I happened upon a rental space big enough for the both of us to set up shop. It did seem serendipitous that we were both starting over with new businesses at the same time in the same place. This had divine intervention written all over it. We were meant to be working from the same ‘healing’ space.
And my client, instead of putting the sewing machines into storage for the winter, allowed my friend to use them to get her new business off the ground with minimal investment costs. So, with much joy and gratitude, my friend continued teaching sewing classes for the summer camp for several years, which fueled referrals for her after-school program throughout the school year.
Talk about a ‘win, win’ situation! And the best part, I’ve never seen her so happy. When we do things with great joy in our hearts, it also inspires joy in others. My clients don’t even mind listening to the giggling laughter coming from the other room while we are in session. Nothing brings more joy to the heart than the sound of a child’s laughter!
Wishing you all a very happy, healthy, and most joyful New Year!