*I write these blog posts from my heart..about my work with the First Nations People, about my teachers such as Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, about my time spent with terminally ill patients, about life off the grid in northern New Mexico. Though in some ways, I write for myself, I try always to share information and experiences that may be helpful to others, that are universal.
If you would like to contribute to to the continuation of these posts, there are 3 ways: the donate button on the side of this post, my gofund me page or poohsstore where we offer sacred and visionary art for these times of transition and transcendence
Drop an unkind word, or careless:
in a minute you forget;
But there’s little waves a-flowing,
and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart
a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy
ere you dropped that unkind word.
Drop a word of cheer and kindness:
just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples
circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort
on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume
of the one kind word you gave.
~By James W. Foley~
I know I’ve kind of written about this once already but just kind of…
Ever since I was a small child, spending time with my grandparents, I have felt happiest if I could give something to someone. I guess I grew up that way because at Christmas, my greatest happiness always came from finding the perfect gift for someone in our family. My cousins and I spent hours upon hours finding exactly the right present; it was what made our Christmases so wonderful. Contrary to the way things are in the world today, the presents we received were not nearly as meaningful as the ones we gave.
What I wrote before was about the movie, Pay it Forward, how I loved it and loved the concept. And it seems to me that NOW is a Great Time to put this into practice as our world has become so unbelievably selfish, materialistic and Cold: A few weeks ago, I read about something that happened in Chicago on Lake Shore Drive: a man committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree and all day, thousands of people-walking, jogging, biking passed by right by him and never noticed..
The stories in the so called ‘news’ bombard us constantly with tales of horror and unbelievable cruelty as if that’s all there is to life and this is all done/orchestrated for a purpose: to make people, fearful, weak and POWERLESS.
BUT WE CAN CHANGE THIS. IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. I know that we can all make a difference, a big difference but I think this has to be done one person at a time as it happened in Pay it Forward. One little boy helped one other person and that person went on to help another and like ripples in the water and one by one, hundreds of people felt the benefit.
“Drop a Word of Cheer and Kindness”
Drop a word of cheer and kindness:
in a minute you forget;
But there’s gladness still a-swelling,
and there’s joy circling yet,
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort
whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water
just by dropping one kind word.
I think we all have experienced this…. and then its opposite… when someone is cruel or hurts our feelings
Words can be ‘Rays of Sunshine’ as someone just wrote to me.
My stepbrother, Lewis is very sick, he’s had countless operations and continues to experience unbearable pain…he’s been suffering for a long, long time following a kidney transplant. I’ve never been very close to him–our family was pretty disconnected- but recently I remembered something that happened a few years ago and I wanted him to know about it.
It happened at my stepmother’s memorial service in Houston. It was a very formal service in a very formal church and I felt extremely uncomfortable as if I didn’t belong there at all. My son and his family and I were late and at the last minute I discovered that I had a large hole in my skirt.
But as we walked by the pew where Lewis was sitting, he smiled and reached out his hand to me and suddenly I felt as if I belonged. It was that simple.
So I wrote to his wife and asked her to please pass on this message to Lewis and this is what she wrote back:
“When I told Lewis he smiled and it made him really happy. That is huge because he has been so sick. Lots of pain and operations and his health is not at all good. Really, tonight when I told him your message it was the first genuine smile I have seen in a long time.”
PAYING IT FORWARD: A SIMPLE WAY OF MAKING A HUGE DIFFERENCE
“Paying it forward is a third-party beneficiary concept that involves doing something good for someone in response to a good deed done on your behalf or a gift you received. When you pay it forward, however, you don’t repay the person who did something nice for you. Instead, you do something nice for someone else. For example, if someone changes your tire while you are stranded on the highway, you might shovel your elderly neighbor’s walkway after a snow has fallen.”
Here in my own world, I have started a pay it forward movement which works in this way:
When someone makes a contribution to this blog , I in turn, will contribute something to an individual or organization [hospice, hospital, bereavement center etc]. This contribution can be one of our *DVDS… [see OUR FILMS] *Many of our DVDS have won awards and are used throughout the US and Canada by hospices, nursing schools, universities, libraries etc. Also check out POOH’S STORE for what’s currently available or maybe a cross as a memorial..
it can be a poster…..
or a t-shirt with a message: “The Earth will bring people from all walks of life together” -Jonathan Warm Day Coming, Taos Pueblo ArtistMaybe this isn’t the purest form of pay it forward but it is a way of making a difference, a way I can make a difference by sharing a message of comfort, hope, inspiration, transcendence and it is just beginning to work.
Most recently, as a pay it forward contribution, I have sent copies of our documentary, Turning Toward the Morning [on parents who have lost a child] to UVA Children’s Hospital in Richmond, Va.
and to a woman who has experienced tremendous loss in her life. Here is what she wrote back in response:
“Just watched Turning Toward the Morning. Tears were flowing….As kindred spirits, we lift each other up, sharing reminders of the guiding sparks of hope and visions of impossible things made possible, in the miracle of life”
So you can be part of this pay it forward movement if you wish. We have lots that we want to share: our award winning DVDS [see OUR FILMS], posters, hand made crosses and retablos, Native American designed t-shirts and hoodies, pillows and prayer flags etc..Everything is original, handmade with great care and is what might be called sacred or visionary art. Each piece carries a message of beauty, comfort, hope, transcendence and whoever receives it, will hopefully continue paying it forward by contributing to someone else in some form or another…..like dropping a pebble in the water. So if you would like to participate, you can contribute here and in turn, I will pay it forward…
And you can also start paying it forward in your own way..it’s so simple really as in this film clip below.
I also included the entire poem, Drop a Pebble in the Water and a more detailed explanation of the Pay it Forward concept.
|DROP A PEBBLE IN THE WATER
Drop a pebble in the water:
~By James W. Foley
PAY IT FORWARD
The concept was popularized in modern times by a 2000 movie Pay It Forward, starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. In this movie, a young boy, played by Haley Joel Osment, is given a school assignment that requires him to find some way to change the world. He develops the pay it forward concept, setting forth a chain reaction of good deeds.
One of the most important things that people should remember about this concept is that it should be done with a selfless spirit. This means that one person helps another without hoping for repayment or good deeds in return. In fact, there are some organizations that allow people to pay it forward anonymously, donating money or performing good deeds without hoping for recognition. As far as the receiver of the money, gift, or good deed is concerned, he or she is told only to do something good for someone else.
The concept has a firm foundation in history. Ben Franklin described it in a letter he wrote to Benjamin Webb in 1784, in which he wrote about his intention to help Webb by lending him some money. He did not want to be repaid directly, however. Instead, Franklin hoped that Webb would at some point meet an honest man in need of financial help and pass the money along to him.
Paying it forward doesn’t have to mean giving a large some of money or expending a lot of effort. It could be as simple as holding the door for someone laden with bags or giving up a place in line to someone who appears in a rush. It could even mean spending a little cash on coffee for the person behind you in line at a coffee house. For those who have money they can afford to give, there are always people in need, but even the smallest, free gestures can make a difference.