"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."--Sir James Barrie
Last night after I arrived home from work, there was an all too-familiar tap at my door. It was the man upstairs, now 80. He's been a pain in my 'you know where' since we moved here 12 years ago. I know that some of this is age, but it seems he has been a pretty miserable man for most of his life. He and the co-owner of the house, my landlady, do not get along, and there are so many times he tries to put me in the middle of things. They alternate paying the bills for the house...and he wants it done the moment it comes in. She makes him wait to the last minute. He will hi-light the bill and tape it to the front door and harass me that I should pay it and withhold it from the rent. Now, if I knew she wasn't going to pay it, that's exactly what I would do, but I know the bill would be paid. He's done other mean things like pull my cucumber vine off the fence...killing it, throwing wood and stuff on my plants. This is part of the reason why I no longer have a garden. Which brings me to the reason for his visit.
Well, I took a deep breath opened the door. I'd had a hard day at work and didn't know if I could handle a confrontation, but when I peered out, I saw that he had a box in his hand...and it was for me. He said that it had arrived on Thursday, but I wasn't home...and since Thursday was my late night, he was asleep by the time I got home. It was a box from Mother Moon. Gosh, what a wonderful surprise, one that brought tears to my eyes. I'm not used to people caring like this. There was a jar of her homemade peach jam and another of spun sugar candy...something I haven't had since...gosh, I must of still been a kid.
Thank you, Mother Moon. Thank you for bringing some sunshine into my life.
I love the above quotation by James Barrie. Sadly, so many of us spend our days wrapped up in our own lives seeking to enhance our own comfort, that we forget about the next person. We forget that they might need some sunshine, too. It truly is a special kind of person who seeks to bring joy into the lives of others...be it a smile, a morning hello...an offer to help someone to cross the street, or even getting up to give your seat to someone who is handicapped or elderly. These are the simple and cost-free ways we we can bring a little sunshine into the lives of other.
In this life, what you give, is what you get. When we spend our lives looking for ways to satiate our own pleasure with little regard for others, we find that that very happiness becomes more and more illusive. Happiness comes more often to those who do not seek it than to those who are obsessed with their own pleasure. This doesn’t mean that we should deny ourselves the pleasures of life. It simply means that, in addition to pursuing our own pleasures, we should also try to find ways to bring a little sunshine into the lives of those around us.
We are all traveling along the same road of life, albeit by different paths, but we will find that journey so much more pleasant when we reach out to help one another. None of us is an island; we all have periods of weakness when we need a helping hand from someone else, and we should be willing to offer a hand of assistance to others whenever the need and the opportunity arises. Our goal in life should not be focused solely on ourselves, but instead, it should be focused on improving the lives of both ourselves and those with whom we come in contact with. A cheerful outlook, a sense of humor, and lots of love for our fellow man will light the world with joy and peace.
What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.--Joseph Addison