First? As I walked through the cutting wind to my classroom the other day, a young man was popping quarters into a meter on the street. “Good move,” I told him. “They boot cars here — I saw one just yesterday.” He smiled and moved to the next meter, dropping a quarter into that one, as well. Meter by meter, he topped off each one. By the 4th, I was grinning.
“That is so nice!” I told him.
“Yesterday I barely got the quarter in ahead of the person writing the ticket.” He grinned back. “But I did!” And he continued down the street, spreading holiday cheer quarter by quarter. He certainly made my day.
Then today I read that anonymous donors are paying off the KMart layaway balances of needy families. That’s great enough news — especially when you read that the donors are targeting families whose layaways are primarily children’s Christmas toys. But when you then find out that at least one of the recipients of the generous goodwill used part of the money she didn’t have to spend to pay yet another family’s layaway… You see why the idea of circles and ripples comes to mind :). (Moment of music, just because it’s happy, and has to do w/ the spread of happiness ~)
Certainly I can tie this kind of selfless, anonymous generousity act to spiritual practice. But honestly? It’s the time of year when we let schedules, ‘ought to’ and ‘should have’ dominate our hours. When the list lengthens faster than we can check off what’s been accomplished.
So pour yourself some hot chocolate — maybe even splurge on marshmallows! Two! And relax. Take a breather — appropriate for Buddhists, especially. And smile at the goodwill of people around the country. Remember that there is more to life than hustle & bustle. Peace. And goodwill. They’re the best remedy I know. For darn near anything ~