Thought for today:
"Six months ago I went into hospital to get my two hands operated on. When I phoned the hospital beforehand to check if my platelet count was high enough to have the operation, I learned that they were extremely low. The cancer ward said that I should cancel the operation, but the blood lab and the hand surgeon said it would be okay to go ahead with it. It is like one hand didn't know what the other hand was doing. Tomorrow, I face a similar dilemma, but more pressing. If my platelets are too low, my planned chemo therapy will be postponed again and I wont also be able to get my vital pacemaker exchange that only has three weeks left. As I think back, getting my hands operated on, along with all the people who have touched me on my own journey through life, naturally took my morning thoughts to those of 'touch.'
The people who touch our lives more than any others are those who are prepared to reach out. They have learned that often the greatest journeys through life begin with nothing more than reaching out and holding another's hand. Often, people can derive more comfort by their hand being tenderly held instead of money being pressed into it. Whenever we reach out to someone in need we learn something essential; that we were born to give. It is only through our acts of giving to others, the things they need more than us, that we truly become acquainted with the good people we were meant to be.
Never reach out your hand unless you are willing to extend it as far as the needs of another. Never withdraw it until it is no longer needed. To offer an empty hand to a person in need is to tease the tragedy of their circumstances and to laugh at them being laid low. Most of us possess much more than we shall ever need and while possession of itself is a natural trait to develop, it undoubtedly becomes easier for a wealthy person to lose touch with their own humanity while they focus upon the richness of their own circumstances instead of the poverty in the lives of others.
Many years ago when I was a child, I asked my mother, 'When we give to charity, how do we know how much to give? How do we know when we've given enough?' My mother, who was the most generous of women and would willingly give away her last penny without second thought replied, 'I would say, Billy, when it hurts to give any more, then you have probably given enough!'
I also remember as a child, a poor neighbour who had a large family to keep and no husband to provide for them. The neighbour was extremely proud, yet lived from hand to mouth, one week to the next. Paradoxically, the only nice thing she possessed in the world was a beautiful red-leather purse which she carried everywhere with her. She handled her purse so much that it was the softest of leather to behold. Nobody would ever see her without her purse in one hand, yet everyone knew that what she proudly carried was always empty, bar a few pennies and half pennies. I often wondered the point anyone might have of carrying around an empty purse, but my mother didn't. Mum knew that one's purse was inversely proportional to one's heart; if one was full the other would have a good chance of being empty and vice versa!
Generosity and compassion to the plight of another requires unselfishness and feeling. If the act isn't colour blind, then it isn't genuine compassion which is being displayed and if the gift is given reluctantly, then it cannot be true generosity." William Forde: January 31st, 2017