I don’t remember exactly how long ago it happened, but I remember the moment quite clearly. I was opening the cupboard door, probably browsing for a snack, and Chuy sat down and looked up at me. His snacks come from the same cupboard.
Likely I had reasons for my intention to skip the dog snack. We go through plenty, as they are given generously. There is a regular wholesome meal at supper time, so there’s that appetite thing. Also, we can just get carried away sometimes and overdo it.
Then my imagination leaped ahead 12 seconds, to the moment I would retrieve something for myself and close the door. Chuy’s dog voice said, to himself or perhaps the cat beside him, “Oh.” a disappointed frown, “He’s only getting something for himself.”
You go ahead and call it guilt, or call it spoiling or call it Shirley or call it awakening. Call it what you will, it made my stomach sink and my heart skipped a beat to imagine being seen this way. To imagine being a creature without the means to get up there and open the door and grab a snack, as I can do without second thought.
In an instant I was changed. If I have no intention of giving the dog a snack, I will not have one for myself in front of her. If she skips it, so do I. (Yes, you are reading that correctly, above was the past, and Chuy was a he, but it’s she-girl Sassy now).
That was just the dog and the pantry. Sure enough, didn’t I come to see shortly how this applied to a thousand places in my life and my day.
It has helped me develop a total immunity to marketing of goods. That $20 for a shiny gadget will pay for half a corrective surgery on a Mercy Ship. The $35 for the other thing I really don’t need will go to my kids in Memphis. Maybe research or maybe treatment or maybe Band-Aids with colorful characters on them for children fighting cancer at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
Even the half of a peanut butter sandwich on the console of the FunBus, saved for later. How do I explain “later” or “mine” to these sparrows and starlings that alight before me, and look up at me the same way Chuy did?
I went to lunch and drove past the old guy who is always walking on the sidewalk, winter and summer, and looking homeless and about 70 years old. It was cold and windy that day. I got a hot meatball sandwich and a cup of hot chocolate and I stopped and gave it to him. I could have wasted my time wondering if he liked meatball sandwiches, or if he was diabetic and couldn’t drink hot chocolate. I don’t know if he has a perfectly nice apartment and Meals On Wheels brings him lunch every day. What difference would that make anyway?
The Great Cosmos smiled on me. He looked at me with the sweetest face, with blue eyes as beautiful as my daughter’s. He spoke softly and kindly and smiled, and then he uttered the very words I’d heard my sainted mother say, so many times, to so many people.
“God bless you.”, he said.
In retrospect, perhaps I have failed in my Armchair zen Mission. Perhaps I am still studying Chuy’s lesson.
For after all was said and done, in the end, didn’t I end up getting something for myself anyway.
Comments on: "Something For Myself" (8)
“The Great Cosmos Smiled on Me”
Honest. Open. Light Filled Post!
Exactly what I need today.
Thank YOU Paz 😀
I am pleased to see the Great Cosmos has smiled on you today, too.
Always my pleasure to hear from you.
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You know I feel the same way about this subject. I do not mind the reason for needs tha I see. Even if someone has in some way caused the situation-even if there is a lack of integrity in the representation-those things do not concern me. I see a need and I can not ignore it. I am responsible for what I do-plain and simple. . . .and what if everyone practiced considering their purchases? Good honest companies would prosper! How beautiful! My son, Brant buys all of his shoes from a company that buys a pair for people in a remote African village, every time he purchases-there are so many opportunities out there to help and it is intentions followed by actions- that can make all the difference, for people animals and the planet. Godspeed my friend! Michele
Great point about the purchases! I wish I’d included that in the post.
The fact is, when I purchase on line I do so through Amazon Smile. They make a donation to the charity of your choice when you shop. (That’s set up for Mercy Ships)
Rice Love is a place to buy some gifts, mostly cross-body bags, small packs and clutches. The products are made from burlap rice bags, sewn by Indian women in fair-trade shops, and for each purchase, Rice Love puts a kilo of rice on a truck and delivers it to families in need (primarily in India).
Places like St.Jude’s, Best Friends Animal Society, Shoes For All, and many other sell items and gifts which benefit those causes.
That’s getting some mileage for your money!
All my best,
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I use Amazon smile too. We ought to make everything count that we can. You inspire me to do my best-now stay well and in the company of trees. xMichele
Paz, you are special.
How kind of you, Michele.
As my dear sainted mother and my new old friend would say,
God bless you.