By Steve Goodier
One grandfather quipped about his grandchildren: "My grandkids are four and six. The Pulitzer Prize winner is four and the
brain surgeon is six."
Parents and grandparents are understandably proud of the quick minds
and impressive talents of their little ones. But let me tell you about
another quality, perhaps even more important, found in a little girl named Skylar.
I received a letter recently from a grandmother who told me about her
four-year-old granddaughter Skylar. Ever since Skylar learned of
Disneyland from TV, she saved her nickels and dimes in a piggy bank in
hopes of visiting there someday. Her parents surprised her with a trip
when she was four, however, and didn’t even require her to use her own money!
When Skylar returned it was Christmastime. She decided to buy presents
with her savings. But she also learned from announcements on TV about
a local homeless shelter called “The Road House.” She repeatedly asked
her mother what “homeless” meant and why those children needed coats
and warm clothes. She couldn’t seem to get the homeless off her mind.
(Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone had that problem?)
Her mother took her to the store to buy presents. Instead of buying
for herself or her family, however, she decided to purchase a warm
coat, socks, gloves and crayons for a little girl in the shelter. She
also wanted to buy a doll (a “baby,” as she called it), but when she
discovered she didn’t have enough money, she left the doll behind.
When Skylar got home, she lined up her own much-loved “babies” and
chose one she thought another child could also love. The baby went
into a box with the other items she bought that day.
She was so excited waiting for Christmas! Skylar was not thinking
about Santa Claus or the presents she would be getting. She was
thinking about going to the shelter and giving her carefully selected
gifts to a homeless child.
On Christmas Eve she and her family drove to the shelter where Skylar
presented her Christmas box to a grateful little girl. She was so
filled with joy at truly helping someone else, that her family has
decided to make the journey to the homeless shelter an annual tradition.
"Perhaps it's good to have a beautiful mind, but an even greater gift
is to have a beautiful heart," says Nobel Laureate John Nash ("A
Beautiful Mind"). A beautiful heart is that gift...that leads
us...into the beauty of giving.
A simpler life can be launched with a concept so simple it takes only a few words. For me, simplifying your life is not to add another "should." It's simply to recognize that your degree of happiness equals your degree of compassion.
The Work of the Heart
Here is a touching piece written by a teacher. It reminds us of the satisfaction gained by doing the "work of our hearts."
Are You Mortgaging Your Dream?
Career freedom comes when you move from, "Can I
afford this purchase?" to, "Is this purchase worth what it
really costs -- future options, choices, staying in a life I
no longer want?"