Happy Sunday, dear friends. Yesterday, we had our first significant snow fall of the year. In past years, the first falling snow was such a magical moment for me. This year, not so much.
You see, last year, I had to shovel the driveway, by myself, at least 16 times. The work was back breaking, as the snow was not only deep, each and every time, but also heavy and wet. The first snowfall of last year was magical, and my neighbor used his snow blower to clear our driveway. It was such a nice thing to do for us, but with each subsequent snow storm getting wetter and heavier, his snow blower didn’t work, and I was on my own.
My experience with snow last year has shifted my emotions and perceptions about it. Snow hasn’t changed. It is still simply frozen water molecules. It is still a collection of individually unique crystalline structures. It makes me think of how often we change our minds about things, but the things themselves do not change.
If our experiences with things are good ones, we tend to think of those things as good themselves. If the experiences are bad, then the thing is bad. One person may view a certain thing as bad, and another sees it as good. Bring up bacon and butter in mixed company if you want to see what I mean. Things are not good or bad, when you really think about it, they simply are.
Going down this path has helped me shift my feelings about snow, and pointed out that I can shift my perception about anything when I remove the experiences that have colored my perception from the equation. Time to go build a snowman and revel in the miracle that is snow!
Before I put my snow boots and mittens on, let’s share some feel good news.
The moment Narayanan Krishnan became a human being.
Many of us can mark the moment when our view of life shifted dramatically. From that moment forward we wanted to use our talents to be in service to the world. It might have been something like seeing a child suffer, or observing a homeless person. For me, the specific moment I knew I wanted to be in service, was the moment my first daughter was born. I knew I wanted to do everything I could to make this world a brilliant place for her to live. A place where everyone felt safe, loved and supported. My entire view of life shifted as this new little being plopped down in our midst.
For Narayanan Krishnan, the moment of his shift occurred when he observed a poor man, in his home village in India, eating his own excrement because he was starving. Krishnan, who worked at a luxury hotel hotel, went and got the man some food and he served it to him.
This might seem like a pretty normal thing for anyone to do, but Krishnan is a member of the Brahmin class, and he is not supposed to touch those considered untouchable. His actions spurred great backlash within his community, and his family thought he had either been cursed or gone mad.
After the event, he simply went to his employer and quit his job. He then returned to his home village and began to minister to the poor every day. He feeds them, gives them baths, cuts their hair and shaves them. Over the years, his mission has expanded and the Akshaya Trust he established, provides services for the poor, homeless and mentally challenged.
While many know the work of Mother Teresa, and see it as miraculous, she was a foreign born individual. The work of Krishnan is not only tackling poverty on a direct level, it is tackling the deeply ingrained social control mechanisms that contribute to the perpetuation of poverty in the nation.
This beautiful TedX talk features a video of Nrayanan’s work, an awards ceremony where he is honored by CNN’s Heroes program, as well as more information about his personal journey and the expansion of this heart centered program. The change that this one man has accomplished is simply miraculous, and I was overwhelmed with emotion as I delved more deeply into his story.
Here is the direct link to the first CNN piece about Krishnan, which brought his amazing work into the view of the world.
For more information on Krishnan’s work, you can visit the Akshaya Trust. I believe it is a shining example of how the heart of a passionate being can open up to embrace a seemingly insurmountable problem and transform it, one loving interaction at a time.
Champion football player rescues woman from overturned car.
When defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, of the New England Patriots, left Foxboro Stadium in Massachusetts last week, the only thing on his mind was celebrating the NFC Championship win that was sending his team to the Super Bowl. As he was driving along though, he noticed an overturned SUV.
He pulled up to the wreck at the same time as a police cruiser. He went over to the car and opened the door on top. He saw the woman inside was beginning to panic, and he calmed her down. He then reached in with one arm and lifted her out of the vehicle, placing her safely on the ground. The police took over from there.
When interviewed about the event, Wilfork said he had seen someone in need and stopped to help, just like anyone would do. What I find amazing about this story is that Wilfork, who is extremely strong and imposing in stature, was placed at the event and was able to assist. Very few people would be able to do what he did with such ease and grace. He was not only a Good Samaritan, but was able to act like a true Guardian Angel, performing the miracle this woman needed.
Sometimes Good Samaritans appear in the strangest situations.
When Ft. Lauderdale, Florida police officer Franklin Foulks was booking Jamal Rutledge for a parole violation, he began to have a heart attack. Foulks clutched at his chest and fell to the floor. When the handcuffed Rutledge realized what was happening, he began screaming and banging on the detention area security screen.
His quick response, allowed the precinct officers and finally the paramedics to provide emergency care for Foulks, which ultimately saved his life. Even though Rutledge was being arrested as a criminal, and may have even been mad with Foulks, the minute he understood this life threatening situation, he acted from his heart and did everything he could to help this man.
Seventeen year old Rutledge, was honored on January 21st for his live saving act, along with the responding officers and medics. It wouldn’t surprise me if this was the first time a “criminal” was honored for doing a good deed. Gee, the world certainly is changing!
A handyman returns a creative tribute to a grieving mom.
Gerald Kumpula is an active senior who enjoys inventing things and doing wood work. His recent passion was creating decorative benches out of reclaimed headboards. He was looking for some at area yard sales in Cokato, MN, when he stumbled across a baby’s crib.
He asked Valerie Watts, who was running the yard sale, what the story was behind the crib. She didn’t really feel like selling it, and told him that it was intended for her baby boy, who was still born about six months before. He could still feel her deep grief, and when he walked away with the crib, he had a plan.
Kumpula created a memorial bench for Watts, using the wood of the crib. He returned to her home and gave her the bench, in honor of her son. This 9 News piece shares the story, and the amazing compassion of a stranger for a grieving mom, turning an object that once brought such pain, into a fitting tribute to her son. The love of this man simply melted my heart.
Baby’s bubbly joy.
I shared this short video with my daughters and they simply adored it. They asked me to share it with their friends and I had a whole pack of kids with me at the computer, laughing hysterically.
A young baby is driven to fits of laughter when her doggie eats bubbles, blown by her momma. The joyful reactions of this little girl are contagious! Enjoy.
That’s the good news for today. Have an amazing day. Please join Gavin Harrill for the Golden Gaia News Roundup on Monday.
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!