Memories Bring Unexpected Gifts


Sometimes life is filled with unexpected gifts. I never cease to be amazed by the kindness of others. Over the past couple or three years, I’ve made a lot of new friends electronically through my blog. I remember one lady who shared one of my blogs early on and added the caveat: “I don’t know who this guy is, but he is really funny.” That was music to my ears.


I often tell people that my spiritual gift is nonsense. Honestly, the stuff that doesn’t amount to much is second nature to me. The more complicated and complex stuff is left for folks who fall outside my pay-grade. Of course, I consistently look at a lot of real life examples and have the thought: “Life doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it.”


Robert Fulghum, the guy who wrote the book “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten” profoundly expresses the same thought. He makes it clear that wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain but there in the sand pile at Sunday School.


On our sun porch at home, we have an unframed canvass poster that expresses some of Fulghum’s thoughts. He expresses it this way:

“Share everything.

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody”. 


I guess all of that didn’t originate with Fulghum. At least the thought was simply expressed in the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.


In addition, there is value in living a balanced life. How did he express it? “Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”
One of the commitments I made to myself when I started writing my blog was to steer clear of all things political. Folks who have an over-exaggerated sense of self-worth often make that mistake and they are worse for wear. They should pay closer attention to the wisdom found in Kindergarten: “No matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together”.


I mentioned unexpected gifts. Yesterday I discovered a card on my desk at the office in Houston addressed to “Mr. Don”. Inside the envelope was a “Retirement” card expressing the thought: “Retirement …A time to look back with pride on achievements made and goals fulfilled…A time to remember with appreciation the many special times and special people…A time to celebrate the past with all its successes and the future with all the possibilities.”


The thoughtful handwritten note on the inside brought a tear to my eyes: “Dear Mr. Don – We thank you for all you do and wish you and your family the best on your retirement. May God continue to open doors for you and give you great favor in all He has for you. We bless you and love you all to life in Jesus!” The card was signed by a family care mom and her two children. They are residents in the program where I work in Houston. Actually, each of the children added a personal note as well.


The card reminded me of the scripture account of the widow’s mite. Do you remember it?

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

At a very real level, I can’t begin to imagine the plight of being a single parent struggling to provide for her family. Her thoughtfulness in purchasing a card was sacrificial. Add to that, the time commitment to negotiate the purchase and write a personal note and involve her two children in the process is very touching. Wow! I am a blessed man.

It is not infrequent that people mention to me: “Don – You have a good life”. They gather that assessment from reading my daily musings. Truthfully, for years, I’ve wanted to write, but I mistakenly thought you had to know something to write a book or to garner one’s thoughts on paper. That’s a myth. All you really need to remember is to take the time to write it down.

Consequently, I occasionally respond when someone asks what I do by saying, “I’m a writer.” I don’t have a storehouse of wisdom to share. I simply carve out the time to write about the everyday things that fill my space and touch my heart. In the process, I too discover that I have a good life.

All My Best!



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