He was standing in the queue, waiting for the teller to count his change painstakingly. A collection of silver and bronze coins. In his hand was a pie and a Coke – lunch for the day. Everyone was waiting with our “superior” notes and plastic money. In that moment, a dozen different thoughts and feelings struck me. I read a story in those few minutes. This man had courage-real and pragmatic. I marvelled at it. How ashamed would I feel paying with little pieces of change? He was actually helping the teller with her cash float, and this showed me he’d worked out a beneficial partnership from a potentially embarrassing context. She appreciated his change, even though it took longer to count.
Then there was his dignity. Shamefaced, I faced my own prejudices. I’ve always struggled with the concept of paying floating, and unofficial car guards to watch my car when I believe each shopping centre should do this for their customers. In that moment, I saw the validity and real value of his work because this man needed to eat, just like me, and who is to say my work is better than his?
And then there was the peculiar realisation of change. All change is a collection of little steps in one direction, just like the pile of change (loose coins) I saw being counted. It all added up to the right amount (the impact) needed to pay for this man’s lunch, and the change needed to satisfy customers like me. I know he had no idea, as he stood with slumped shoulders, but this car attendant taught me a weighty lesson. As I reversed my car, and waited for one of his co-workers to guide me out, I paid, bit my lip and said, “God bless you”, this time really meaning it.
In a time when our country needs rain and our hearts need change, we can forget we are loved and made for a purpose. Today, I sit and look at my to-do list. My iPad is dead. I forgot to charge it. My knee is bust – I fell and slipped over the weekend. And my heart? It’s craving rest. The end of the year is nearing. There’s still so much to do. We can feel the pressure and the time running out. Our work, our studies, our goals. “How am I ever going to finish everything?” “When can I rest?” “Is there still hope for our country, for me?” These are some of the questions I can see us asking. They’re everywhere. In everyone’s hearts.
Today, I sit quietly. I sip my tea. I connect with my heart. I breathe. As I sit, I can feel my heart come back to me. It’s been somewhere else, waiting for me to listen, to miss it. Our heart is deeply affected by what we think. It controls the vitality and energy of our lives. It can be alive and vibrant in the middle of a storm. Or it can be dead and apathetic on an island paradise.
Quietly, I remember WHY I am here. Deadlines are still here. Christmas is still around the corner and my country still needs miracles. But I’m okay. I’m alive. My heart is beating and it’s connected. I’m loved. You are loved. We are made for a purpose. Your hearts needs you. Join me and build up your heart today and those around you.
BOOST YOUR HEART HEALTH
- Repeat: “ I love you” as you look in the mirror and get ready for the day. If this is too intense, state “you are loved.” State it till you believe it.
- Recall some of the beautiful, encouraging things that have been said about you. Make a quick happy box from an old shoebox or container and whenever you get a sincere compliment, write it down on a pop it in there. Read the contents regularly to remind yourself of who you are and what you mean to others.
- Go out of your way to give sincere compliments today. At least 7 are needed to offset 1 negative statement. As we compliment, we will see the value and worth in others. And amazingly, we will see it in ourselves too!